Pet food toppers and boosters: What are they and what are the benefits?
Have you ever considered adding a meal topper or booster to your pet’s regular food? Here’s why you should! Everyone needs some variety in their life, especially our pets! The pet food topper and booster market is rapidly expanding throughout the globe as more and more pet parents are enhancing their pets’ diet with these tasty mix-ins. But what exactly are toppers and boosters?
Available for both cats and dogs, these meal enhancers come in many different forms, including powders, gravies, broths, freeze-dried and air-dried chunks. These foods are typically designed as a supplementary food rather than being complete and balanced; this means that they are intended for intermittent or supplementary feeding only, to be mixed in with your pets regular food, sprinkled on top or fed alone as a treat. And therefore, in order to meet your pet’s nutritional needs it is also essential to feed a nutritionally complete base food. And like with all foods, it is important that you follow the recommended feeding guidelines of each product and serve as directed to prevent over or undernutrition, particularly excessive energy intake!
So, are there really any benefits to these meal enhancers? Different toppers and boosters all have their own individual benefits depending on their ingredients, form, and functions. Some of these benefits include:
- Helping to increase the palatability of your pet’s regular food.
- Liquid toppers such as gravies and broths can help to aid hydration.
- Providing a nutrient boost.
- Adding variety and excitement to mealtimes!
It’s not only important to feed your pet a wholesome diet that meets their nutritional requirements, but also foods that they enjoy eating. Cats can be fussy eaters at times and so foods that are highly palatable are more likely to entice them. On the other hand, dogs are not so selective when it comes to food, but that is not to say that palatability isn’t important! Palatability is a complex science and much research has been conducted to obtain information that has enabled pet food manufacturers to formulate and produce foods that are highly palatable and enjoyable for our pets to eat. Palatability can be measured in a number of ways, such as an animals first choice of food, preference between foods and the amount of food consumed, and there are several factors that have shown to influence palatability, including aroma, appearance, shape, taste, and nutrient content. So, if the round, brown kibble just isn’t cutting it, then toppers and boosters could well be the answer to help entice fussy eaters or just generally improve mealtimes by providing that additional boost of flavour and nutrients!
Of course, feeding your pet a complete and balanced diet is key, but don’t forget that hydration also plays an essential role in the health and wellbeing of your pet, and it is necessary to ensure a clean, fresh supply of water is always available for them. Liquid pet food enhancers such as gravies and broths contain a high level of water in their composition, and so their addition to a dry pet food which usually has a moisture content of approximately 10%, can help to contribute that necessary moisture into your pets diet. Not only this, but for older pets who may sometimes struggle to eat, liquid toppers are also a great way to soften up kibble, or even for pets with illness who may need a little bit of encouragement. For your cat, Feline Natural Lamb Green Tripe Hydration Booster is a great daily supplement, supporting hydration and providing a nutritious boost!
Adding variety to your pets’ diet can sometimes be difficult without worrying how the change in food will impact their digestive system. Noses can be upturned, and sensitive stomachs irritated if you rush into a new diet too quickly. With the use of toppers and boosters, pet parents can add diversity to mealtimes without completely switching onto a new food. Along with variety, additional nutritional supplementation can be provided; protein, Omega-3, antioxidant, and superfood rich, there are a range of products to choose from to suit your pet’s individual needs and preferences!
Why not try K9 Natural Lamb & Salmon Feast Topper for Dogs; made with grass-fed, free-range lamb and sustainably caught salmon, this freeze-dried topper provides a nutrient boost for your dog with whole food ingredients. It is also made with no-added grains and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids to help your dog's natural anti-inflammatory responses and support healthy skin, coat, and joints. Or how about Meat Mates Chicken Boosters; these tasty bites contain cage-free chicken with added Fish Oil and Rosemary Extract for a natural antioxidant boost!
For all of your pet's nutritional needs, check out Pet Direct's extensive range of food, toppers and boosters here.