Can You Add Water To Dog Food?

Can you add water to dog food?

Can you add water to dog food? Most dogs have an eating routine in light of dry food. However, caregivers are often left wondering whether they should moisten their pet’s food. Although it 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 some pathologies.

If you are contemplating whether you can add water to canine food? join us in the following BestPetsLover article in which we explain in what cases and how you can do it.

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Is it good to put water in dog food?

Most caregivers are aware that their dogs tend to prefer wet food to dry food. In fact, most animals tend to prefer food with 60-70% water. However, we must bear in mind that dry feed has a number of advantages over wet feed:

  • Prevents the appearance of periodontal disease: the mechanical effect of chewing dry feed allows dental plaque to be removed and thus delays the appearance of tartar. In addition, the dry feed helps to strengthen the periodontal ligament, which prevents the loss of teeth at advanced ages.
  • Contributes to the feeling of fullness: chewing not only facilitates the digestion of food but also anticipates the feeling of fullness. Dry feed requires longer and more laborious chewing than wet feed, which makes the animals feel full sooner and consume fewer calories. This fact is especially relevant to prevent overweight in very voracious dogs. If you want to know how to choose a feed for overweight dogs? You can do it by consulting this post that we suggest.
  • Lower cost: when in doubt, dry feed is generally less expensive than wet feed.
  • Better conservation: having a lower water content, dry feed is more stable and is preserved for longer periods.

For these reasons, in most cases it is preferable to offer a diet based on dry feed, always supplemented with fresh and clean water freely available. However, there are certain situations that we will explain later, in which it may be convenient to provide a wet feed or a moistened dry feed, instead of a dry feed.

Can I add water to the dog food or is it bad?

The recommendation of most specialists is that you offer dry feed to your dog and always with enough fresh water next to it so that it can drink because precisely as the feed is very dry food, they have to obtain water apart from the food and eating feed gives them very thirsty. However, there are situations in which moistening the dog’s food is much better. Therefore, YES you can add water to dog food and it is not bad.

  1. The food with water for puppies is recommended since it will be easier for them to chew and they will not present discomfort due to the fact that their teeth are coming out.
  2. If your dog usually drinks a lot of water after eating I think. The feed is very dry and, therefore, it tends to dry out your pet’s mouth, so it is normal that when they finish eating they binge on water, which sometimes does not suit them because they drink too much at once. If you add a little water or broth without salt to the feed, this can be prevented and with it digestive problems.
  3. If your dog has suffered from diarrhea or vomiting, the feed with added water will feed it and hydrate it, helping it to recover better.
  4. And he doesn’t particularly like the food, moistening it with warm or slightly hot water or salt-free broth may make it more appealing due to its smell.
  5. If you have any dental problems or injuries to your mouth, the soft feed will help you avoid the pain of chewing hard feed.

Notwithstanding this, do not forget that if you have decided to add water to your dog’s food, you must let it rest for a maximum of 30 minutes. Before or just after half an hour you will have to offer it to them, because if it is left much longer, it ends up being a mush (which it may or may not like) and if it has been exposed to the air for all that time, it can begin to spoil, have come insects, etc.

How to mix water with dog food?

When you decide to mix the feed with water or other liquids, you must do it at the time you are going to offer the ration to your dog. Depending on your preferences, there are a number of considerations to take into account:

  • You can mix the feed with water at room temperature or hot.
  • You must check the texture so that it is to your liking and add the appropriate amount of water-based on it.
  • Food that is too liquid is usually not pleasant for most dogs: therefore, we recommend that you initially make a rather thick paste, and then adjust the texture based on your dog’s preferences.

On the other hand, you must remember that, even if you moisten your dog’s food, you must always offer him a bowl with fresh and clean water as a compliment. Even if you add water to your dog’s food, it is likely that this will not be enough to maintain its adequate hydration levels, so it is essential that it always has access to freely available water.

What can dog food be mixed with?

When you decide to moisten your dog’s food, you can choose one of the following alternatives depending on the needs and preferences of your pet:

  • Water: it is the simplest and cheapest option. You can mix the feed with water at room temperature or, if your dog prefers, with warm water.
  • Broth: in adult dogs, you can also consider the option of mixing the feed with broth, be it 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 ration. In any case, it is important that it does not contain salt to avoid raising sodium levels in the diet. Like water, you can mix the feed with the broth at room temperature, or if your dog prefers, with the warm broth.
  • Formula milk: in the specific case of weaning puppies, it is preferable to mix the dry feed with specific formula milk for dogs, which you can find available at any veterinary clinic or pet store. At the beginning of weaning, it is preferable that you mix the feed with warm milk since puppies are used to consuming food at body temperature (about 38ºC). As weaning advances, you can diminish the temperature of the milk, until you give it at room temperature. It is important to clarify that you should never mix the feed with milk from another animal species, such as cow’s milk since it could cause diarrhea with fatal consequences for the puppies. When are puppy dogs weaned? Discover the answer in this BestPetsLover article that we recommend.

What to mix my dog’s feed with?

If your problem is that your dog does not like the feed and you want to test if he accepts it by adding some flavor or smell that is more attractive to him and you do not know what is healthy and what is not for your dog, you can use the foods that we mention below.

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Remember that if you are going to introduce a new food to your dog’s diet or have decided to change the feed, you should do it gradually, introducing and mixing the new supplement little by little and in small quantities to avoid digestive problems. Thus, when in doubt ” what can I add to my dog’s food? “, take note:

  1. If you have decided to mix the feed with homemade food, you should know that it is not recommended due to the difference in digestibility and fermentation they have, which ends up causing everything from flatulence to serious digestive problems. Yes, it is advisable to add homemade food to his diet but not on the same occasion that he eats feed, but instead give him feed at one meal and the next time you give him homemade food and so on. alternate, separating the digestions of the different foods.
  2. Although it is best to give these foods separately, as we have just explained, you can mix the feed with vegetables or fruit, which will bring many benefits to your dog’s body, but it is convenient to crush the feed to mix it, so it will be easier to digest which is slower than that of fruit and vegetables.
  3. chicken pieces are also usually useful, but in this case, it is recommended to grind both the feed and the chicken for the same reason as vegetables and fruit, but also because your dog would surely eat the chicken pieces and not the feed.
  4. You can mix it with water or warm chicken or vegetable broth for a more pleasant smell and taste.
  5. You can use lactose-free milk, better at natural or lukewarm temperature than not very hot or very cold.
  6. Can the feed be mixed with wet dog food? You can also try wet food, although, in the same way, that happens with homemade food, they have a different digestibility and digestion could be heavier, so you should crush it an

In which cases can water and dog food be mixed?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, dry food has a number of advantages over wet food, which makes it the first choice of food for most dogs.

However, there are certain conditions, both physiological and pathological, in which moistening 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.


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

To achieve gradual weaning, a puppy feed moistened with water or formula milk should be offered. The goal is to create a porridge that is less and less liquid until the puppies are able to eat completely dry feed. In this way, we will not only avoid gastrointestinal problems, but we will facilitate the weaning of the litter by resembling the taste of the feed to that of the milk to which they were accustomed.

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oral problems

Dogs with problems in the oral cavity (such as gingivitis, periodontal disease, mouth ulcers, etc.) may have some difficulty grasping and chewing hard food. For this reason, in these cases, it is advisable to offer moistened food, in order to avoid chewing being painful or dry feed aggravating the lesions of the oral cavity.

Consult this BestPetsLover article to learn about some oral wounds in dogs and to have more information on the subject.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Dogs that are going through any digestive process with vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain, can benefit from the contribution of wet food because its digestibility is greater. The addition of water to the feed helps reduce the effort required to process the feed. In addition, it provides extra hydration to these animals that, as a result of vomiting and diarrhea, maybe somewhat dehydrated.

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convalescent dogs

Convalescent dogs that have just gone through a pathological process or have undergone surgery often lose their appetite and reduce their food intake. In these cases, it is advisable to moisten the feed in order to enhance its flavor and stimulate appetite.

How to make my dog ​​eat dry food

Assuming that you ask yourself “for what reason does my canine not have any desire to eat I think and how would I make him eat? pay attention to this section. When a dog is a puppy, diet plays a fundamental role in its present and future, this means that if, for example, you have accustomed your dog to eating homemade food, when he is older he will reject the feed because compared to this he will find home-cooked food much more appetizing.

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For this reason, it is recommended to feed the puppies with moistened feed from two months of life. You can give him some homemade meals spontaneously, but never too often, and if it is in small quantities better, because otherwise, you will find yourself with the problem that the feed will not accept it.

It may also happen that he does not like the type of feed or the flavor that you offer him, that he has always been eating exactly the same feed and is tired because it smells like other things (can you imagine eating the same thing all your life even though you see and smell other things?), he may not want to eat feed because his teeth hurt and he prefers food soft, the one you give him may feel bad and in fact have an allergy to that feed, etc.

You will have to clarify this with the help of the veterinarian, who, apart from a diagnosis, will give you the best solution. Here we tell you more about why my dog ​​does not like the feed.

In general, if you want your dog to eat dry food, you can follow these rabbits:

  • You can blend the feed in with any of the food sources referenced previously.
  • Try softening the dog’s food with water or broth.
  • Change your dog’s feed, it is possible that the problem is simply that he does not like it. Consult with your veterinarian which is the most suitable feed for your dog according to his needs and assess the different brands according to the nutrients they provide, their taste, etc.
  • There is a strict method for your dog to eat dry food. Put his usual feed and water at his disposal, do not offer him anything else to eat, so that when your dog is hungry he will eat and get used to the fact that the main diet is this and no other.
  • You can grind the dog food. Especially older dogs find it easier to eat because of problems they may already have in their mouths or missing teeth.
  • Reward him when he eats feed. You can cheer him up by petting him or offering him a treat like a small piece of turkey when he finishes his feed. Thus, it will be more motivated and will end up associating that its food is the feed and sometimes it can be rewarded.

Apart from all this, keep in mind that in the case of your dog, a diet without feed and only with homemade meals prepared for him may be more convenient, for example, if he suffers from an illness. This does not mean that you can give him the human food that you cook for you and your family (since it may have excess salt, sauces, or foods that are harmful to the dog), but that the veterinary nutritionist will tell you what foods are suitable for him and will give you ideas.

Of dishes and combinations for you to prepare or will indicate homemade dehydrated dog food, which they sell with all the necessary nutrients and that you will have to hydrate to give it to them.

Dogs that refuse to drink water

Despite the fact that it is more regular conduct of felines, we can likewise discover a canine that won’t drink water. On account of creatures in a condition of drying out, it will be important to layout a liquid treatment intend to address what is going on. 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.

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Tips for conserving feed 

Locating a place inside the home where the dog’s food can be stored is important. 

cool environment away from light and any moisture is recommended. 

  1. It is not correct to leave food on balconies, terraces, or places where sunlight hits it fully. 
  2. It is recommended that they be stored in airtight containers and safe places.
  3. You should not leave the feed for a long time. You can consult with a veterinarian what time is indicated to continue using it, because, after the indicated period, it can help it to ferment and the bacteria to proliferate.

Is it convenient to give the dog different types of feed?

Each dog needs a diet based on its body and routine. For example, a dog that is sterilized will need food adapted to it, especially focused on not gaining weight easily, just as an obese dog will need a feed with less fat than one with its normal weight and that a very active dog will need a feed that provides a lot of heat energy.

If you give your dog a different feed every day you can cause disorders in his digestive system, so it is not recommended to give your dog different types of feed every few days. Remember that every time you want to add a new diet to your dog’s diet or want to change its feed, it has to be little by little and in small quantities. Always consult with your veterinarian and he will examine your dog and recommend the feed that best suits him.

You can give him different flavors of the same brand but never offer your dog a different feed for days, it is better that he gets used to one, so it will also be easier to achieve the goal you are looking for.

Benefits and drawbacks of adding water to dog food

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

Advantages of adding water to dog food

The primary benefits of adding water to canine food are:

  • Palatability: by moistening the feed, its flavor and smell are enhanced, thus making the food more palatable and appetizing for dogs.
  • Digestibility: Contrasted with dry feed, wet feed is all the more effortlessly processed and requires less exertion from the stomach-related framework to process.
  • Hydration – Wet food helps to increase the hydration level, which is especially important in those dogs that refuse to drink water.

Disadvantages of adding water to dog food

The principal downsides of adding water to canine food are:

  • Less practical: whenever we choose to dampen the feed with water or some other fluid, it is critical to do it at the time we are going to offer the food ration. Assuming we set it up excessively far ahead of time, all things considered, a glue will shape that your canine doesn’t like. In addition, being a wet food, it is very likely to attract insects and other pests. Therefore, you must prepare the mixture at the moment and remove it within 20-30 minutes if your dog does not consume it.

Risk of periodontal disease: Contrary to dry feed, wet feed promotes the proliferation of bacterial plaque and the deposit of dental tartar. If you want to know more about periodontal disease in dogs: causes, treatment, and consequences don’t hesitate to read this BestPetsLover post that we suggest.

As you have seen, both the supply of dry and moistened feed has a series of benefits and drawbacks. Deciding the best option for your dog will depend on his needs and the assessment made by your veterinarian in each case. As a general rule, the supply of dry feed should be prioritized, but when necessary, you can opt for wet feeding for as long as you consider appropriate.