The 4 Best Meal Toppers for Dogs: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Written By Vedrana Nikolic | Canine Coach, B.A Ethnology & Anthropology, M.A Semiotics.
Last Updated: 26th September 2023
Mealtime is a special bonding experience between us and our furry companions, and ensuring that our dogs enjoy their meals is always nice. That's where meal toppers come into play – a delightful and nutritious addition to your dog’s regular food that can transform an ordinary meal into an extraordinary feast.
In this article, we dive into the world of meal toppers for dogs, exploring the benefits they offer as well as potential downsides. We’ll showcase some of the best meal toppers for dogs on the market, as determined by our expert Gentle Dog Trainers team and also offer tips on how to create your own homemade meal toppers for your pooch.
Related: The Best Dog Food Australia.
Related: How To Choose The Right Dog Food?
Related: How Is Australia’s Dog Food Industry Regulated?
Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia.
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Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Ziwi Peak Raw Superboost
- 98% meat, organs, and bones
- Only highest quality ingredients
- Highly palatable
- No fillers
- Freeze-dried to preserve the nutrients
Runner Up -
Lulu’s Kitchen Toppers
- Single ingredient recipes
- Absolutely no additives
- Locally sourced ingredients
- Highly palatable
Third Place -
Eureka Pet Food
- Gently air-dried to preserve the flavour and nutrients
- Extremely palatable
- High in protein
- Enriched with superfoods
- Made with 99% Australian ingredients
Australia's Best Meal Toppers for Dogs Reviewed
What sets this product apart from the rest?
Ziwi Peak - 4.5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Beef Recipe: Beef with Ground Bone (Source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Beef Tripe, New Zealand Green Mussel, Beef Heart, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Dried Organic Kelp, Rosemary Extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product.
- Recipe Range: Superboost line: Beef; Lamb; Venison; Skin & Coat; Gut & Immune Support
- Cost: $$$$$
- Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned)
Raw Superboost is a new line of Ziwi Peak products. While pretty much any formula from Ziwi Peak can be used as a topper due to the extremely delicious ingredients they use, this new line was designed specifically for this purpose. Basically, the guys from Ziwi Peak tried to outdo themselves and we are happy to report that they succeeded.
Related: Ziwi Peak Dog Food Review
For example, 98% percent of this formula is grass-fed beef, green tripe, and heart. Could it be any better than that? Well, Ziwi Peak also added the New Zealand green lipped mussels for an extra boost of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Ziwi Peak being tested by our independent expert team
This new line from Ziwi Peak is freeze-dried instead of air-dried like their other dry formulas so far. According to experts we consulted, switching to freeze-drying is another step forward as it preserves even more nutrients than the air-drying process which still uses heat, albeit low.
Overall, these boosters are a great solution that will simultaneously make your dog’s food bowl smell extra delicious and boost the nutritional value of the meal. The only real downside is, as usual, the price, but at least with toppers you only need to use a small amount!
Lulu's Kitchen - 4.5 Star Rating
- Recipe Range: Single ingredient toppers: Beef liver; Ground plichard meal; Kangaroo meal; Whiting fish meal; Lamb meal; Green lipped mussel meal; Goat meal; Goat tripe meal
- Cost: $$$$$
- Australian Owned: Yes.
Lulu’s Kitchen is the dog treat-focused offshoot of Rover Pet Products, a family-owned Aussie company that originally started by making dog beds. The concept behind the Lulu’s Kitchen toppers is simple: dried delicious goodies, one at a time.
You can choose your pooches' favourite flavour, whether it’s beef liver, kangaroo, or fish. Not only that, but there are also some serious health boosters on offer like dried green lipped mussel or goat tripe meal. Either way, these toppers are super easy to serve (simply sprinkle on top) and highly aromatic.
Eureka - 4.5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Wild Boar & Chicken Recipe: Wild boar (Meat, liver, Heart, Lung, kidney, finely ground bone), Free Range Chicken (meat, Liver, Heart, Lung, finely ground Bone, Cartilage), Salmon Oil, Apple Fibre, Lecithin, Green Lipped Mussel, Flax Meal, Chia Seed, Free Range Eggs, Broccoli, Vitamin & Minerals, Sea Salt, Blueberry, Kelp, Citric Acid, Chicory Root (Inulin), Mixed Tocopherols, Turmeric, Postbiotic (blend of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. Lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum)
- Recipe Range: Wild Venison and Lamb; Wild Kangaroo and Lamb; Wild Boar and Chicken
- Cost: $$$$
- Australian Owned: Yes.
Eureka recipes are exceptionally tasty for two key reasons. Firstly, the air-drying process effectively retains the natural aromas and flavours. As soon as you open the pack, you’ll smell a pleasant meaty scent - and so will your dog, only many times stronger.
Additionally, Eureka recipes are predominantly composed of high-quality meat and animal ingredients (over 90%) much like other air-dried foods such as Ziwi Peak.
Related: Eureka Dog Food Review.
Since dogs have a natural inclination towards meaty foods, it's no surprise that customers often report their furry friends thoroughly enjoying every last bite. In essence, these recipes truly excel in the realm of taste, thanks to their meat and bone-focused composition.
Eureka Pet Food being tested by our independent expert team
In short, if you use Eureka as a topper, your pooch won’t be able to stay away from the food. All it takes is a little bit to make the food bowl smell extra delicious.
Eureka used to be subscription-based only, which is something many people found annoying. However, they are planning to introduce one-off purchases soon and you can already join the waitlist.
K9 Natural Grain - 4.5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Tripe, Beef Kidney, Beef Heart, Beef Blood, Beef Spleen, Ground Beef Bone, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed Flakes, Brown Kelp, New Zealand Green Mussel, Pumpkin, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Dipotassium Phosphate, Dried Kelp, Apples, Pears, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Magnesium Oxide, Selenium Yeast, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement.
- Recipe Range: Freeze-dried line: Beef Feast; Lamb Feast; Chicken Feast; Lamb & King Salmon; Hoki & Beef
- Cost: $$$$
- Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned)
K9 Natural topper recipes are a delight for dogs! It comes as no surprise considering their rich meat content. In fact, even finicky eaters seem to relish this brand, as reported by their owners. One possible reason for this satisfaction could be the incorporation of organ meats in the recipes.
Related: K9 Natural Dog Food Review.
Tripe, liver, and heart are not only nutritionally dense ingredients, but they also contribute greatly to the flavour profile. Additionally, the freeze-drying process, rather than traditional kibble cooking, further enhances the overall taste experience.
Are Meal Toppers Good for Dogs?
Meal toppers tend to be a point of disagreement among pet parents. Some say that adding fancy toppers will get dogs addicted to the good stuff and turn them into even pickier eaters. With others, that is not an issue, and the dog will simply enjoy an occasional treat. Ultimately, it will depend on the dog’s character, but there is nothing wrong with offering your canine companion some extra flavour and variety.
While dogs don’t necessarily need meal toppers, they can be beneficial in various situations.
“Finicky eaters benefit the most from the use of toppers. Not only can the topper itself provide a little nutritional boost, but it can also increase the amount of the regular diet that the dog takes in.” - Dr. Jennifer Coates for Chewy (1)
Furthermore, meal toppers are a great way to sneak in a supplement to improve your dog’s diet. For example, dogs suffering from arthritis can benefit from ingredients rich in chondroitin and choosing something rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help make your dog’s coat more shiny (1).
As for what makes a good topper, there are virtually no limitations as long as the ingredients are safe for dogs. The main requirement is that your dog finds it tasty, obviously. There are quite a few wonderful products designed specifically for elevating dog meals you can buy (see below), but that’s actually not necessary.
Homemade toppers are also quite easy to prepare, and you even choose to feed your dog some leftovers from your meals if that’s more your style. Just make sure that the ingredients are dog-safe and that the food isn’t overly seasoned, and you’re good to go.
Homemade Meal Toppers as an Alternative
While the fancy meal toppers we listed above are a great option you can also just as easily elevate your pup's dining experience by introducing homemade meal toppers. These simple additions can provide a variety of flavours and health benefits:
Finally, feel free to explore additional options too! Consider sprinkling a bit of grated cheese for some added decadence or drizzling a small amount of fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids that promote a healthy coat and skin.
By offering these homemade meal toppers individually or in delicious combinations, you can create exciting flavour profiles and nutritional benefits for your beloved pup. Watch their tails wag with joy as they savour the deliciousness you've added to their daily meals.
Meal toppers can be used by simply sprinkling or adding them on top of your dog's regular food. You can mix them in or serve them separately to create a visually appealing and tasty experience for your dog.
Meal toppers are not essential for a balanced diet but can be a beneficial addition. They provide variety, encourage picky eaters, and offer extra nutrients. However, they should not replace a complete and balanced dog food diet recommended by your veterinarian.
Meal toppers can be used occasionally or as a regular addition to your dog's meals, depending on your preference and your dog's individual needs. They can be a daily treat or used to entice a picky eater. Just be mindful of the portion sizes and overall balance of the diet.
Not necessarily! But you should tread carefully if you are worried about that. Some dogs really do seem to develop very high standards when they are offered nicer food occasionally. Others do not. I add meal toppers to my dog’s kibble from time to time. She is always extra excited when she gets the tasty stuff but continues to eat plain kibble otherwise.
As long as the food is not spoiled and contains dog-safe ingredients, using human food leftovers as a meal topper for your dog is a not only a great option to enhance their meal, but also a great way to reduce household food waste.
- Fitzsimmons, P. November 3, 2020. “Your Guide to Dog Food Toppers: What They Are, Benefits and More”. Chewy. Retrieved July 13, 2023. https://be.chewy.com/your-guide-to-dog-food-toppers-what-they-are-benefits-and-more/
- Coates, J. October 14, 2011. “Finicky Eater? Suggestions on Maintaining a Healthy Diet”. PetMD. Retrieved July 13, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/jcoates/2011/oct/healthy_diet_for_finicky_eater-11740