The best liquid dog food – Chicago Tribune

It’s common for dogs to suffer from a lack of appetite when they are under stress, causing them to miss nutrients from their regular dog food. Liquid dog food allows you to provide nutrients and calories for dogs that are no longer eating enough due to old age, illness or recovery from an injury. You can also add some liquid dog food formulas to regular hard food to make meals more exciting.

Foods like the PetAg Dyne High Calorie Liquid Dog Supplement are an excellent choice for pet owners looking to add much-needed nutrition to their dog’s diet. With fun flavors like vanilla, these supplements encourage even the most finicky pets to resume their regular eating habits.

The two main types of liquid dog food are those meant to serve as supplemental toppers and those formulated to promote weight gain, and each type addresses a different goal.

Topper formula: Liquid toppers provide complete nutrition and encourage your dog to eat traditional hard food using attractive scents and flavors. Much like a spice or condiment, toppers are added to your dog’s food to make eating a more exciting experience.

Weight gain formula: Weight gain, liquid dog food formulas are for dogs in need of additional calories and cannot maintain a healthy weight. These highly nutritional, calorie-rich foods are to be used only for short periods until your dog recovers and its appetite returns to normal.

Liquid dog food is available in broth-based or oil-based varieties. Both formulas have their pros and cons depending on your usage.

Broth: Broth-based liquid dog food is for dogs who suffer from dehydration as well as malnutrition. It usually uses bone, meat or vegetable broth, and you can use it to soften dry food to make it easier for your dog to both eat and stay hydrated.

Oil: Oil-based liquid dog food is usually made from fish oil, although vegetable oil options are also popular. These foods are specifically targeted towards healthy weight gain as they have fats and calories.

If you are looking for weight gain results, select a liquid dog food with a fat content ranging from 15% to 50%. The fat in liquid dog food should be unsaturated to promote cell growth and keep your pet’s heart healthy.

Dogs require a diet heavy in protein. It can be a challenge to provide this kind of nutrition using liquid dog food, as protein usually comes in solid foods like meat or beans. However, some formulas containing meat broth and whey have a protein content of up to 5%.

Senior dogs, and even younger dogs of many large breeds, often experience soreness and a lack of mobility in their joints. Encourage and promote joint health by selecting a liquid food containing bone broth, which is high in joint-healthy collagen peptides. If you are looking for an oil-based product, fish oil naturally alleviates joint stiffness and swelling.

  • Consult with your veterinarian. It may be tempting to simply try to address your dog’s weight loss or lack of appetite with liquid dog food, but be sure to ask your veterinarian first to determine the root cause of your dog’s condition.
  • Mix liquid and wet dog food. If your dog finds eating to be incredibly challenging, you can forgo the dry kibble and mix a liquid dog food supplement with your preferred wet dog food. This will allow your pet to eat a soft but fully balanced meal more easily.
  • Don’t forget about hydration. Liquid dog foods are a great way to also address any dehydration problems your dog may be experiencing.

Liquid dog food prices range from $10-$50 depending on the formula, package size and ingredients’ quality.

A. No. Dogs require fiber, protein and other nutrients that are only available in a diet that includes solid food. Liquid dog foods are for the short term to encourage your dog to gain or maintain weight during periods of rehabilitation or recovery.

A. This depends on the reason you are feeding your dog liquid food and your dog’s size, weight and health. You can find feeding instructions printed on the packaging of the food itself, but you should always consult a veterinarian first.

A. Dogs can be particular about the kinds of foods they enjoy eating. If your dog is generally open to eating everything in sight, chances are it will find liquid food or toppers to be enticing. If your pet is not a fan of certain ingredients, check the product label before purchasing any liquid dog food to ensure that it doesn’t contain anything you already know that your dog dislikes.

PetAg Dyne High-Calorie Liquid Dogs Supplement: available at Chewy

Our take: This versatile liquid food works well for picky eaters and is also a valuable supplement for dogs who are pregnant or recovering from surgery.

What we like: This formula uses authentic vanilla flavoring to keep dogs interested. It can be soaked into dry food or mixed with water to alleviate dehydration.

What we dislike: This product may not be the most effective for weight gain, and the strong vanilla scent may deter pets that are especially sensitive to odors. Loose stools may also occur in some dogs.

The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth Beef Stew Wet Dog Food Topper: available at Amazon and Chewy

Our take: This rich and flavorful liquid dog food topper adds a hefty boost of nutrition to your pet’s regular diet.

What we like: Human-grade ingredients, portion-controlled packaging and a formula reminiscent of beef stew make this a convenient and tasty option.

What we dislike: The predetermined portion sizes feel a bit on the small side and you may have to experiment to see which flavor your dog prefers.

Solid Gold Turkey Broth with Pumpkin & Ginger Dog Food Topper: available at Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart

Our take: This topper is packed with nutritional superfoods and has wide appeal due to most dogs generally enjoying turkey.

What we like: This product works as a food topper as well as a treat. The turkey broth is a natural source of collagen that promotes healthy joints.

What we dislike: The inclusion of pumpkin and ginger may deter some dogs from enjoying this formula despite it containing turkey.

Derek Walborn is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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