How to Use Dog Food Toppers

Redbarn Team August 29, 2020
How to Use Dog Food Toppers

When pups love their kibble, they love their kibble. But just like their hoomans, pups enjoy variety. 

Have you noticed your dog isn’t as enticed by their food anymore? Then incorporating a topper into their diets is an easy, tasty fix! 

What are Kibble Toppers?

Kibble toppers are added to the top layer of dog food. They can include cuts of delicious meat or a blend of meat, vegetables, and fruit. Depending on the brand, toppers come wet or dry in individual packets or bags. Toppers can also be stored in your refrigerator or sourced from your refrigerator if you’re making your own. 

Benefits of Kibble Toppers

Toppers are beneficial to dogs because they offer an extra boost of nutrition or moisture to their kibble. A great kibble topper is tasty, enticing picky eaters with a great aroma and highly palatable flavor. 

The best toppers have multiple uses –– they can serve as meal toppers, treats, or full feed meals.

Some benefits to using a topper in your dog’s food include: 

  • Increased hydration (with wet toppers)
  • Added protein to their diet
  • Helping finicky eaters eat more
  • Increased palatability of kibble 
  • Added vitamins and nutrients
  • Added fruits and vegetables to kibble
  • An easy delicious treat 

There are several varieties to choose from, but how exactly do you use kibble toppers?

For the most part it’s fairly simple: the best way to add a topper to kibble is by pouring it on top of your dog’s food or mixing it directly into the food. 

However, it’s important to note that depending on the type of topper you’re feeding you want to be mindful of how you feed it, and how much you feed, to maximize the benefits for your dog. 

Wet Kibble Topper

A wet kibble topper generally features chunks of protein in a broth or gravy while some also have added vegetables for a nutritional boost. Feeding a wet kibble topper is also a great way to increase hydration in your dog’s food, especially if they’re prone to dehydration or have a specialized diet. 

Redbarn’s Rolled Food is a great option for pet parents who want the benefits of a raw diet with more convenience. Since our food rolls are semi-moist they are also excellent for adding moisture to your dog’s diet. They can be cubed or shredded as an easy kibble topper or mixed in, or used as a full feed meal.

Canned food is another wet kibble topper option for dogs. Ideally, you want to choose a canned food that is complete and balanced, with high protein content and added ingredients like healthy vegetables. 

Whichever option you choose we suggest paying close attention to the calorie statement on the back of the packaging and the product recommendations before use. If your dog is focusing on weight management, consider reducing their kibble portion sizes since many wet toppers may be rich in calories.

Dried Kibble Topper

There are several dry kibble toppers to choose from including freeze dried and air dried! Both offer some of the great nutritional benefits of a traditional ancestral diet (i.e a raw diet) in an easy, convenient package. 

Unlike wet kibble toppers, they are dried through a process that dehydrates the meat while preserving the nutrients. Think of a fresh slab of steak preserved to last without the use of high temperatures in the drying process. Each bag of Redbarn Air Dried Dog Food starts with six pounds of meat prior to the cooking process. You can read a review here

If your dog needs more hydration in their food make sure to always keep fresh water available and even consider adding water to rehydrate the topper. Note that it isn’t mandatory to add water but be sure to consult with your veterinarian if your pet is prone to dehydration.

Broths and Gravies

Another topper option for your pup’s kibble is adding a bone broth or gravy. They are usually available in packets and can be poured directly on top of their dry food. Like wet toppers, broth or gravy can also add extra moisture. Plus, dogs love the added flavor!

This is a great option for your fur friend who isn’t a heavy eater. Be mindful of the ingredients and make sure you choose a bone broth or gravy without additives, excess salt, or sugar, as they can do more harm than good.

Similar to wet toppers, pay attention to the calorie content if you have a pet who is on a restrictive diet for weight management. 

Treats as Toppers

Did you know your pup’s favorite treat can be added on top of their kibble? A light sprinkle of their favorite treat goes a long way when you’re trying to entice them to eat their food. 

This is also a fun reward for special occasions, like their birthday!

Redbarn’s Protein Puffs are a perfect low-calorie treat to feed alone or as a kibble topper. At only one calorie per treat and 75% protein in each bite, you won’t have to worry about adding extra calories to your dog’s food.

But we can’t forget about our feline fur friends either! If you are a pet parent with cats you can also add our Protein Puffs for cats to their dry food for an added boost of protein, crunchy texture, and irresistible flavor.

Making The Choice

It’s really up to your pup which topper they’ll like! The best choice is always sniff and munch test approved. Of course, if you aren’t sure based on your dog’s current diet it’s always best to consult your veterinarian before feeding a new topper.