They say variety is the spice of life. Your dog most likely loves to try new things too. Giving your pup new foods, making homemade treats, and trying out this dog food topper recipe can be rewarding for you and your dog.
You can use this puppy granola as a nutritious yet appetizing add-on to your dog’s daily meals. It’s simple to make and easy to sprinkle on your dog’s food.
With just 7 ingredients, you can quickly whip up this dog food topper in large batches and store away to use throughout the week.
What is a dog food topper?
A dog food topper is an optional wet or dry mixture of dog-friendly ingredients to be sprinkled on top of your dog’s regular food to enhance flavor, texture and nutritional value. Dog food toppers come in many different forms, such as gravies, broths, freeze-dried meats, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, and even specially formulated powders.
Why use a dog food topper?
Do you have a picky eater on your hands?
Some dogs get bored with their regular dog food and adding a topper can make mealtime a more mouth-watering, stimulating part of their day.
Does your dog need to supplement vitamins, minerals and other particular nutrients?
Depending on your dog’s age and health, your vet may suggest adding a dog food topper that contains specific nutrients they need more of or are lacking.
Does your dog have digestive issues?
Has your vet recommended probiotics or digestive enzymes? Then a dog food topper containing these supplements might be just what the vet ordered!
Have you considered your dog’s dietary variety?
On top of dogs experiencing dog food boredom, a dog food topper can provide variety in the types of food they consume, potentially improving their diet’s nutrient diversity.
Do you have to give your dog medication on the daily?
Adding a dog food topper is a clever way to mask the taste or smell of medication, making it easier to get your doggo to swallow up that medicine without a struggle.
While dog food toppers have many benefits, they should not replace a complete and balanced diet and are only meant as a supplement to a high-quality dog food!
And remember, avoid overfeeding your doggo. Dog food toppers are great, but monitor your dog’s weight and make sure the dog food topper isn’t causing them to pack on extra, unneeded weight.
Dog Food Topper Recipe: Puppy Granola
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Yields: 3 cups
Dog Food Topper Ingredients:
- 2 cups oats
- 1 tablespoon chlorella powder (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon bone broth
- 1 egg, whisked
- ¾ teaspoon molasses
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅓ cup wild blueberries (see notes)
Recipe Tools Needed:
- Large mixing bowl
- Small bowl
- Silicone spatula
- Whisk or fork
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
Dog Food Topper Recipe Instructions:
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- If you haven’t already defrosted the wild blueberries, you can do a quick defrost. Place them in a colander and pour warm water over them. Allow them to drain while you are preparing the rest of the recipe.
- Add the 2 cups of oats and 1 tablespoon of chlorella to a large mixing bowl. Use a spatula and stir well.
- Add the liquid ingredients – bone broth, honey, molasses, and a beaten egg.
- Use a spatula to incorporate these ingredients.
- Once the mixture is well mixed, spread it out onto the parchment-lined baking pan.
- Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes. Set a timer for 15 minutes and remove it from the oven so that you can stir the granola, turning it over every 15 minutes. Bake for another 15 minutes and stir again. This helps to make the granola crunchy. If you want, stir it one more time before the 50-60 minutes is up. Since every oven is different, keep an eye on the granola and bake until the oats are a light golden brown and the granola is crunchy.
- Store in an airtight container. Feed this dog food topper to your pup within about a week. If you want to store it for longer, you can put it in the fridge. If you use this as a topper for your dog’s food, you can give them a tablespoon or so depending on their size.
- We used gluten free oats for this recipe. Not all oats are gluten free due to cross-contamination. If you want to be sure this treat is gluten free, look for oats labeled gluten free.
- Chlorella is optional but is very nutritious and has a lot of health benefits for your pup. We will explain below how adding chlorella to your dog’s diet can benefit their health and well-being.
- For this dog food topper recipe, we used wild blueberries which are smaller than regular blueberries. But if needed you can substitute for regular blueberries. If using frozen wild blueberries, allow them to defrost before making this recipe OR use a quick defrost method as described above.
Health Benefits of Chlorella for Your Dog
Chlorella, while optional, is a great addition to this dog food topper recipe because of its health benefits.
Chlorella is a beautiful dark green color because it is a type of algae that grows in fresh water. It is beneficial for both humans and dogs. Chlorella has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful antioxidant.
It supports the body’s natural detoxification by binding to and helping remove toxins that we are exposed to in daily life such as pesticides, heavy metals, pollution, and additives in processed food.
Since chlorella is a potent antioxidant, it can help with preventing chronic disease in your dog by protecting the body from free radical damage. This will help your dog’s cellular health and slow aging.
The antioxidants that chlorella contains include beta-carotene, chlorophyll, Vitamin C, lycopene, and lutein. Chlorella is also high in fiber which benefits the digestive system.
If you want to sprinkle chlorella directly on your dog’s food, start out with ⅛ of a teaspoon. You can slowly work your way up to ⅛ teaspoon per 20 lbs of body weight. They also make chlorella tablets which some dogs enjoy chewing.
Health Benefits of Oats for Dogs
Are oats healthy for dogs? Oats can be a nutritious addition to your dog’s diet. If your dog needs to avoid gluten, you can purchase oats that are certified gluten free. Some dogs who aren’t able to tolerate wheat are able to eat oats as an alternative. If your dog can’t eat oats, check out our easy, gluten free homemade dog treat recipe or this no-bake dog treat popsicle!
Oats are high in fiber and aid in digestive health. They are also high in linoleic acid which is an omega-6 fatty acid. Linoleic acid is anti-inflammatory and supports skin and coat health. Oats contain these vital nutrients: zinc, iron, manganese, and B vitamins.
Being moderately-high in protein, oats can be a good addition to your dog’s diet and used in homemade dog food recipes.
Health Benefits of Honey and Molasses for Dogs
Honey and molasses both contain sugar so they should be given to your dog in moderation. They are a great addition to this dog food topper recipe because they add a bit of sweetness and nutrition.
Honey has natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties which can help your dog’s immune system. Honey can help your dog’s digestive system because it contains prebiotics and probiotics. Some dogs may also benefit from honey’s allergy-reducing properties.
Molasses is a rich sweetener with a slightly bitter taste. It is full of nutrients and adds a hint of sweetness and rich flavor to this dog food topper recipe.
Nutrients in molasses:
- Iron, copper, and zinc
- Folate and B vitamins
- Magnesium and calcium
Toppls are a treat dispensing toy made by Westpaw. Both Lickimats and Toppls are puzzle toys that provide your dog with stimulation. On a Lickimat or in a Toppl, you can add dog food and top it off with this puppy granola.
Puzzle toys provide enrichment and fun for your dog. Combine a puzzle toy or treat dispensing toy as you introduce different types of dog-friendly treats and recipes.
If you need a recipe for a senior pup or small breed doggo, check out this chihuahua dog food recipe with healthy ingredients for your small breed companion.
If you’re not ready to cook up your own homemade dog food topper, try out one of PetPlate’s Topper Plans (just select the Topper Plan vs the Entree Plan after you complete the form detailing your pet’s dietary needs).
Have fun with it, you and your furry friend will be bonding over dog treats in no time. And, as always, speak with your vet before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet.