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Should I Add Water to My Dog’s Food?

A longtime marketing angle of dry kibble was that it helps clean teeth. However if you ever watch your dog (especially a Lab!) scarf down their food you know that your dog is not chewing those kibble much, if at all. (It is for this reason we recommend meaty bones a couple times a week to clean those teeth).

So if that’s the only reason you have never moistened your dog’s food – don’t let that myth stop you. The truth is, adding water to your dog’s food has many benefits!

Dogs need moisture to properly digest their food

Dog’s bodies are designed to eat fresh meat, vegetables, fruits, etc., which all have fairly high moisture content, as high as 70-90%. Dry kibble is only 10% moisture. When your dog eats kibble, their body has to steal moisture from its own tissues to help with digestion. This is why many dogs drink a lot of water after eating. However, at that point, the kibble is already in your dog’s stomach and so the added water will make it expand, causing discomfort. Drinking excessively after a meal may be a cause of bloat as well and causes stress to the organs.

But kibble is convenient and less expensive than canned food. It also has more nutrients than many canned foods, because of the differences in processing.

So, instead of switching to canned food – just add water!

Putting water on your dog’s food…

Can help a senior dog eat their food easier.

Can entice a dog who maybe a picky eater or has lost their appetite due to illnesses. Adding water releases the aroma (especially if you use a bit of warm water) enticing the dog to eat.

Can help prevent Urinary Tract Infections by ensuring your dog is getting enough water.

Can help make sure your dog is getting enough water in hot or cold weather, when they need more but may not be drinking enough on their own.

Makes it easy to turn it into a treat by freezing the water and kibble mixture into a food toy. Especially great in hot weather.

How to add water to your dog’s food

When you are adding water to your dog’s food, make sure it’s not too cold (also not pleasant for your dog and can cause stomach discomfort) or too hot. Lukewarm water is best. Add equal part water (or a bit more for dogs that are prone to urinary/dehydration issues) and soak for 10-15 minutes. Now it’s ready to feed in a dish or freeze in your dog’s food toy.

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