Can water be added to dry dog food?


 Can water be added to dry dog food?

Most dogs follow a dry food diet. However, it is common for caregivers to wonder if they should rehydrate their pet's food. Although this should not be the norm, there are certain situations in which adding water to the feed may be recommended, or even necessary, to prevent or improve certain diseases.

If you are wondering if you can add water to dog food? Join us for the next DOG57 article where we explain the cases and how you can do it.

Is it okay to put water in dog food?

Most caregivers understand that their dogs tend to prefer wet food over dry food. Most animals tend to prefer food that is 60-70% water. However, we must bear in mind that dry feed has several advantages over wet food:

Prevents the emergence of gum disease: The mechanical effect of chewing dry forage allows the removal of plaque and thus delays the appearance of tartar. In addition, dry forage helps to strengthen the periodontal ligament, which prevents tooth loss at old age.

Contributes to a feeling of fullness: Chewing not only facilitates the digestion of food but also anticipates a feeling of fullness. Dry feed requires longer and more difficult chewing than wet feed, which makes animals feel full sooner and consume fewer calories. This fact is especially important to prevent weight gain in extremely voracious dogs.

Lower cost: As a general rule, dry feed is cheaper than wet feed.
Better Preservation: With lower water content, dry fodder is more stable and preserved for longer periods.

For these reasons, in most cases, it is best to introduce a diet based on dry fodder, always supplemented with freely available fresh, clean water. However, there are some situations, which we will explain later, in which it may be more appropriate to provide a wet feed or a wet dry feed, rather than a dry feed.

How do you mix water with dog food?

When you decide to mix the feed with water or other liquids, you should do so at the time you will be feeding your dog the ration. Depending on your preference, there are several considerations to take into account:

You can mix the feed with water at room temperature or hot.

You should check the texture to your liking and add the right amount of water-based on it.

Very liquid food is usually not pleasant for most dogs: therefore, we recommend that you make a fairly thick paste at first, and then adjust the texture based on the dog's preferences.

On the other hand, you must remember that even if you rehydrate your dog's food, you should always give him a bowl of fresh, clean water as a supplement. Even if you add water to your dog's food, it will likely not be enough to maintain adequate hydration levels, so your dog must always have freely available water.

What can be mixed with dog food?

When you decide to moisturize your dog's food, you can choose one of the following alternatives according to your pet's needs and preferences:
Water: is the easiest and cheapest option. You can mix the feed with water at room temperature or with warm water if your dog prefers it.

Broth: In adult dogs, you can also consider the option of mixing the feed with broth, whether it's chicken, meat, or vegetables. In this way, you will not only improve the palatability of the feed but also increase the nutritional value of the serving. In any case, they mustn't contain salt to avoid high levels of sodium in the diet. Like water, you can mix feed with room-temperature broth, or if your dog prefers, with warm broth.

Formula: If the puppies are weaned, it is best to mix dry feed with a special formula for dogs, which you can find at any veterinarian or pet store. At the beginning of weaning, it is preferable to mix the feed with warm milk, since puppies are acccustomed to eating food at body temperature (about 38 °C). As weaning progresses, you can reduce the temperature of the milk until it is provided at room temperature. It is important to clarify that the feed should never be mixed with milk of other animal species, such as cow's milk, as it can cause diarrhea with serious consequences for puppies.

In what cases can water be mixed with dog food?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, dry foods have several advantages over wet food, making them the first food choice for most dogs.
However, there are certain cases, both physiological and pathological, in which moistening the dry feed with water may be recommended or even necessary. In this section, we collect the main cases in which water can be added to dog food.


You may also be interested in How do you raise a puppy

Dogs, like other mammals, should be fed exclusively with breast milk during the first stage of their lives. As a rule, the puppy's lactation period should be a month or a month and a half. After this time and once the teeth begin to come out, the puppies should be weaned. To allow the animal's digestive system to adapt to the transition from a liquid diet, such as milk, to a solid, dry diet, it is important to carry out the weaning gradually.

To achieve gradual weaning, feed moistened with water or formula milk should be introduced. The goal is to make porridge that contains less and less liquid so that the puppies can eat the dry feed completely. In this way, we will not only avoid digestive problems but also facilitate weaning the litter by likening the taste of the feed to the taste of milk to which they are accustomed.

Mouth problems

Dogs with problems in the oral cavity (such as gingivitis, gum disease, mouth ulcers, etc.) may have some difficulty in ingesting and chewing solid food. For this reason, it is recommended in these cases to offer wet food to avoid chewing painfully, or dry forage that aggravates the lesions of the oral cavity.

Digestive disorders

Dogs going through any digestive process accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain can benefit from the contribution of wet food, as their digestibility is greater. Adding water to the feed reduces the effort required to treat the feed. In addition, it provides additional hydration to these animals who may be somewhat dehydrated as a result of vomiting and diarrhea.

If you want to know about other digestive problems in dogs: causes, symptoms, and treatments, feel free to chat and have a look at this article we recommend.

recovery dogs

Rotting dogs who have just gone through a disease process or have had surgery often lose their appetite and reduce their food intake. In these cases, it is recommended to moisten the feed to enhance its flavor and stimulate appetite.

Dogs that refuse to drink water

Although it is a more common behavior of cats, we can also find some dogs that refuse to drink water. In the case of animals in a state of dehydration, a fluid treatment plan will be necessary to correct this situation. However, in mild situations or as maintenance, you can choose to moisten the feed with water to increase the degree of hydration of the animal.

Advantages and disadvantages of adding water to dog food

As you were able to infer throughout the article, adding water to dog food can provide a series of benefits in certain situations, but it also has a series of drawbacks compared to dry food. Disadvantages.

Advantages of adding water to dog food

The main advantages of adding water to dog food are:
Food palatability: By moistening the feed, its flavor and aroma are improved, which makes the food more palatable and appetizing for dogs.

Digestibility: Compared with dry forage, wet feed is easier to digest and requires less digestive effort for processing.

Hydration - Wet food helps increase the hydration level, which is especially important for those dogs who refuse to drink water.

Disadvantages of adding water to dog food

The main disadvantages of adding water to dog food are:

Less practical: When we decide to moisten the feed with water or any other liquid, we must do so at the time when we are going to provide the ration. If we prepare it too long in advance, a paste will likely form that your dog does not like. In addition, being a wet food, it is very likely to attract insects and other pests. Therefore, the mixture should be prepared for the time being and removed within 20-30 minutes if the dog does not eat it.

Risks of periodontal disease: Unlike dry feed, wet feed fa promotes the proliferation of bacterial plaque and the deposition of dental tartar.

As you have seen, both dry and wet feed supplies have a series of benefits and drawbacks. Determining the best option for your dog depends on his needs and the evaluation that your vet performs in each case. As a rule, priority should be given to the supply of dry feed, but when necessary, you can choose wet feed for the duration you see fit.

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