health benefits of pet food toppers

Food toppers are a fun and easy way to turn your pet’s dinner into a tasty gourmet feast!

But a healthy dog food topper does more than just that: it also adds nutritional value to your pet’s diet, overcomes the hesitation of picky eaters and helps keep your best furiend hydrated and happy.

Add High Quality Protein

Because Vital Essentials cat and dog food toppers don’t use “bulk” fillers, there’s more protein in a serving of freeze-dried raw than in a serving of traditional kibble. Plus, toppers pack an incredible amount of nutritional value into even a small amount of food — so it’s more of a nutritional “bang for your buck.”

It’s true that as long as your pet’s primary food source is complete and balanced by AAFCO standards, it will have the necessary nutrients above minimum levels. But that doesn’t mean all pet foods are alike, or that all calories are created equal! The calories from real meat are naturally easier for your pet to digest and utilize than the calories from starchy “filler” ingredients like cornmeal or wheat meal.

That’s why food toppers offer a flexible and simple option to boost the nutritional quality of your pet’s diet, replacing some of the calories from regular kibble with protein-rich, real meat calories instead. It’s a convenient, easy and affordable way to incorporate the natural goodness of real, raw meat into your pet’s diet — and enjoy the health benefits of raw, such as:

  • Losing excess weight
  • Building muscle mass
  • Increasing vitality
  • Soothing digestion
  • Improving skin and coat health

Meal toppers also give you the ability to mix, swap or rotate proteins. If your pet normally eats chicken, you could use a beef or turkey topper to give your dog or cat a variety of tastes and a different balance of nutrients.

Plus, there’s many ways to feed our freeze-dried food toppers! They come as dry, shredded flakes that can easily be served straight from the bag as-is. Add a little water and our toppers become a moist gravy or pâté, mixed to whatever consistency your pet prefers. They’re versatile, completely customizable to your lifestyle and your pet’s needs, and the exact same toppers can even be fed to both dogs and cats.

And if that wasn’t enough, Vital Essentials cat and dog food toppers are naturally vitamin-rich! The naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in real, raw meat are easily digestible and good for your pets. The best part? Unlike a pill or multivitamin, you don’t have to sneak it into their food or treats to trick your fur-kids into eating it!

Entice Reluctant Eaters

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Meal Toppers are the ideal way to coax a reluctant pet into enjoying their meal.

There are many reasons why a dog or cat may need a little enticement to take those first few bites of their dinner. Your pet may be on a special medicated diet that they don’t find appealing, or they could just be a picky eater in general. If your best furiend is on the skinny side, your vet may even recommend they pack on a few pounds by eating larger meals than usual.

It’s also possible for your kitty or pup to stop eating due to sickness or stress. We all know what it’s like to lose your appetite when you’re not feeling well, and some anxious pets stop eating when traveling or boarding. A tasty meal topper can make all the difference in keeping your pet healthy during your travels!

Whatever the reason, the irresistible scent and taste of a real meat topper is the perfect choice for your finicky feline or picky pooch. Once they’re intrigued enough to take those first few bites, your pet will realize how hungry they really are and keep on eating. 

So while the meal topper itself is an excellent source of nutritional value, using a topper also means your pet eats more of their regular meal than they would have otherwise — helping them gain weight, recover from illness and simply be their best and healthiest self!

Increase Hydration

Finally, using freeze-dried meal toppers as a gravy or pâté gives your pet all the health benefits that come from adding moisture to your pet’s diet.

You may not realize that many pets don’t drink enough water during the day, even if they have continuous access to clean water. While it’s crucial to make sure all your fur-babies stay hydrated, pets who are very old or very young, have kidney disease or diabetes, or are brachycephalic (“flat-faced” pets like Pugs or Persians) are especially prone to dehydration.

Cats are at an even higher risk of dehydration than dogs. The domestic cats’ ancestors were desert animals that got most of the moisture they needed from their meals and only rarely drank from a stream or pool. Our feline pals have retained these instincts, and tend not to visit the water bowl as much as they should. 

That means cats who exclusively eat a dry or kibble diet are almost certainly not getting enough water on a daily basis! According to True Care Veterinary Hospital:

“Studies show that many cats exist in a state of chronic dehydration. This can affect their health in a variety of ways, including increased risk of developing diabetes and kidney and liver failure.”

So, what can you do to make sure your pet stays hydrated? As the old saying goes, you can lead your dog or cat to their water bowl, but you can’t make them drink.

That’s where delicious food toppers come in! If your pet’s primary food is a dry kibble because they love the crunch, then drizzling a food topper gravy over the top is a perfect way to help your dog or cat stay hydrated without completely replacing the food they’re familiar with. 

Keeping your pet well-hydrated results in a long list of health benefits for your pet. The water in your pet’s diet is crucial to many physical functions, including:

  • Lubricating joints
  • Cushioning the brain and spinal cord
  • Stimulating cognitive function
  • Promoting healthy organ and cell function
  • Giving elasticity to body tissues
  • Transporting nutrients through the bloodstream
  • Helping blood circulate
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Flushing waste out of the body
  • Improving digestion
  • Repairing and maintains muscles
  • Assisting in respiration and oxygen exchange

In addition to these incredible day-to-day benefits, keeping your pet hydrated also helps reduce the chance of your best furiend developing several medical issues. Urinary tract infections, blockages, crystals and kidney problems are all health challenges that may develop as a result of chronic dehydration, especially in cats.

If your pet has easy access to their water bowl, you may not even realize that they aren’t using it enough and could be at risk of dehydration. Both dogs and cats are adapted to eating moisture-rich meals and not relying exclusively on drinking water for their hydration needs, which makes freeze-dried meal toppers a simple and easy way to add much-needed water to your pet’s diet.


Healthy food toppers are an excellent way to increase the amount of quality protein and moisture in your pet’s diet, as well as enticing picky eaters and making dinnertime much more exciting!

Simple, easy and convenient, Vital Essentials freeze-dried meal toppers are incredibly customizable to your pet’s needs. Don’t forget that you can “Top It, Mix It, Shake It,” however you like — and “Serve Your Way, Any Way!”