Dogs are so incredibly varied in their personalities. While some scarf down any food scrap in sight, others have a more picky (or shall we say, “refined”) palate, and quickly tire of their everyday dog food. What can be done when your dog decides to stop eating their food, or is no longer excited about it?
The Food Topper Craze and the Dangers of Many Food Toppers
Food toppers have become incredibly popular in the pet food/treat industry in recent years, but the concept isn’t anything new. For hundreds of years, many dog owners have thrown human leftovers of some kind into their dog’s food bowl.
While this often gets the job done, it also exposes your dog to unnecessary salt and ingredients that humans have no problem processing, but that a dog’s body is not designed for.
If you’re going to top your dog’s regular food with something tastier, how can you ensure the topper ingredient(s) are as healthy as possible?
A Google search of the term “dog food toppers” results in thousands of results. One popular name brand food topper contains a whopping 87% water. Not exactly worth paying for, in our opinion.
The recent dog food and treat trend toward limited ingredients is a great sign, as many dog owners are becoming increasingly conscious of what goes into their dog’s body.
Most dog food contains an unnecessarily high amount of carbohydrates. Why? Because all those grains are cheap and a great filler, bringing the cost down, but also the nutrition along with it.
The (Healthy) Food Topper Dogs Really Want
Real meat isn’t cheap, but it’s what the ancestors of dog’s were designed to eat in the wild. And not cooked meat, but raw, nutrient-packed meat.
For many people, the thought of feeding their dogs raw meat seems gross and unsafe. But a dog’s short digestive system is far different than a human’s, and is able to process raw meat without any problems.
With that said, many dog owners opt for a freeze dried raw meat product, which is far less messy and significantly more convenient. (Freeze drying maintains 98% of the nutrients, without the use of chemicals to preserve it)
Are Freeze Dried Meat Toppers Right for Your Dog?
Earlier this year, when my dog began to tire of her (expensive) everyday dog food, I gave raw freeze dried toppers a try. Because the bits of meat are small, they integrate well into her kibble.
What happened next amazed me. Instead of her lazily free-feeding her food over a period of 24-48 hours, she quickly gobbled down the majority of the bowl in minutes. Even when she is able to pick out the freeze dried meat, it seems to function as an “appetizer” and make her more excited about the rest of the food, which she usually finishes within 30 minutes or so.
It was my personal experience, and the experience of many other dog owners I talked to, that led us to create our line of freeze dried raw treat toppers here at iHeartDogs. I mix in a small handful of chicken breast or beef liver each night, and my pup continues to gobble down her food in record time. (An added benefit of our toppers is that each value pack funds 14 donated meals for shelter dogs!)
I’d highly encourage you to look into the benefits of raw freeze dried toppers, but most importantly, I’d encourage you to make sure whatever you top your dog’s food with is healthy and safe for the long-term. After all, a dog’s life is short enough, they deserve the absolute best!