Dog food toppers are meant to supplement your dog's diet if you feel like your brand of dog food is missing certain nutrients you think he should be getting. They can also be used sparingly as a treat! Toppers come in either wet or dry varieties, and are poured or sprinkled on top of your dog's food to make their normal kibble more enticing to eat. Here are a few situations where it would be beneficial to give your dog a food topper:
Wet food toppers can be an added source of hydration for your dog. These can come in multiple forms such as broth, sauce, and gravy. It is also an option to use a balanced and complete formula of wet dog food as a topper, as well. Increasing your dog's water intake can be helpful if you know you're going to be outside during a hot day - starting your pup's day with a little extra hydration is a great way to be prepared.
They can also be helpful if you notice that you dog doesn't drink a lot of water, in general. In addition, a dog who has kidney disease for example, would benefit from the added hydration of a wet food topper since their disease may make them urinate more often than normal.
Your dog's food may be marketed as complete and balanced, but that may not cater to your dog's specific needs. If you have a dog that is older in years and is starting to experience problems with arthritis, the regular food he eats may be lacking in glucosamine, the amino sugar that maintains cartilage in the body. If this is the case for your dog, you may want to consider investing in a topper that is rich in glucosamine.
Other dietary benefits that toppers can have are being rich in omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics. Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to improve dogs' immune systems, boosting brain development in puppies, and improving skin and coat health. Probiotics in dogs, like in humans, aid in digestion and prevent against harmful bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella. Look around to see what you think will work best for your pet's nutritional needs, and always consult your veterinarian before making long-lasting changes to your furry friend's diet.
You could be in a situation where you recently adopted a dog from the shelter and he's undernourished so eating his food is important, but due to the stress of the move, he's not eating. You could also have a dog with a very specific diet because of a health concern, but that diet doesn't taste very good to your doggo. In both of these scenarios, a dog food topper is a viable solution for your dog to eat his regular food.
The topper acts as a treat that makes the food seem a lot more enticing so your dog will eat the food that he needs to gain essential weight, or to eat the food that his system specifically needs and have it taste a lot better. Instead of enticing your pup to eat his kibble with peanut butter or treats that will make him gain weight unnecessarily, a food topper can be just the motivation your good boy needs to eat all his food and get the special nutrients he needs, too.