What do a senior dog with deteriorating teeth, a young puppy transitioning to hard kibble, or a sick dog with stomach problems have in common? The need for softened food, of course! Dry dog food can be tough to digest and even harder to chew for some dogs, so if you find yourself Googling “how to soften dry dog food” to help your struggling pooch, then you have come to the right place. Not only will we address some simple ways on how to soften dry dog food, but we will also make sure the food is still enjoyable.
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Ask Your Vet First
Before we get started, we are going to suggest all dog owners consult with their trusted vet before adding any new ingredients and making significant changes to your dog’s diet. Softening the food is not only a great solution for a dog with health problems, but it’s also a beneficial method for picky eaters. The softening ingredient can be changed to keep up with your fur baby’s palate and the change in texture can also be more appealing. The only thing is to make sure it’s okay to add something new.
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Adding Warm Water
Perhaps the most obvious and common ingredient to soften dry dog food is to add water. You won’t need approval from your vet to add it because it’s a key ingredient in creating canned food, and is essential to your dog’s health. How much water you add depends on the consistency your dog prefers and how much dry food you feed. You can play around with the ratio until you find one your dog likes. Our tip is to use warm water to soften your dog’s food because it takes effect much faster.
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There are quite a few benefits to adding warm water to soften dry dog food. For starters, it is an excellent solution for dogs that don’t drink enough. Adding water to their bowls will naturally increase their daily water intake during mealtimes. A fully hydrated dog will face fewer health problems such as UTIs (urinary tract infection) and dehydration.
As we mentioned, adding anything new to the bowl to either change the taste or the texture will make the dry dog food more enticing for your dog. The softened kibble is also much easier to digest and will reduce the harm of fast eating.
Beef Broth, Bone Broth or Chicken Broth
For flavor enhancement to dry dog food, our team recommends broth. You can take your pick from beef, bone, or chicken broth to appeal to your picky eater. The softening benefits are similar to water and the amount will also require some trial and error depending on the amount of dry dog food you feed.
Since broth is chalked full of additional micronutrients, you should ask your vet before adding this to soften dry dog food. If you get the green light, your pooch will receive supplemental collagen and hyaluronic acid, which helps with skin health, and chondroitin and glucosamine which promotes joint protection.
There will also be extra amino acids that benefit your dog’s overall health and minerals to aid in development.
You can also add canned dog food as a dry food topper to please your dog. Since canned food contains a significant amount of water, it will act as a dry dog food softener. However, canned food is not as effective as liquids for softening. What canned food is better used for is flavor enhancement. It is near impossible to train pickiness out of your dog, so your best bet is to change things up. Try purchasing multiple flavors so each meal seems different to your dog.
Adding canned food topping is the easiest way to soften your dog’s food, but you have to ask your veterinarian how much to add due to the extra calories. You don’t want to end up with an overweight dog that can lead to other health problems down the line.
What are the benefits of canned food? One of the major ones is a more balanced diet. The soft canned dog food may possess additional nutrients the kibble lacks and it helps with hydration. Perhaps the biggest benefit to soft dog foods is the inviting taste.
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Fish Oil or Tuna Juice
This option may not be the first on your list because some people dislike the raw fishy smell, but to your dog, the flavor and aroma are delicious indeed. Instead of submerging all the kibble in fish oil or tuna juice, they should be drizzled in slowly. Again, consult your veterinarian on how much to soak the dry dog food with to be safe.
Both fish oil and tuna juice are excellent sources of healthy fats such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are also commonly found in regular dry dog food to aid in skin and coat health. Besides that, they also help with heart problems and cognitive issues.
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Milk or Yogurt
Dogs can be lactose intolerant, so definitely as your veterinarian before adding dairy products. If the doctor says it’s okay, then milk or yogurt are also excellent additions to dry dog food. How much to add depends on the amount of food you have, what’s recommended by a professional, and daily calorie intake suitable for your dog.
Together, these substances are high in antioxidants, calcium, minerals, vitamins and protein that will work to help boost overall health.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do you moisten dry dog food?
There are many ways to moisten dry dog food, and they all include adding a foreign ingredient into the mix. You have to be careful what you add just in case your dog has allergies or intolerance to a certain ingredient. The options range from plain warm water to additional canned dog food. What’s important to take into consideration is what your dog can digest, his overall health condition, and account for the extra calories.
Is it OK to soak dry dog food in warm water?
Yes, it’s OK to soak dry dog food in warm water. In fact, it can be necessary to do so if you have an elderly dog, a sick dog, or a young puppy. Dog owners also soften dog foods in order to help with digestion and to change things up a bit. The difference in texture might be all it takes to make the kibble more appetizing to your dog.
What to add to dog food to make them eat?
You can add a variety of ingredients to dog food to make your dog eat. The most common method is to add water to the bowl. Water is safe for all dogs and is an essential resource for your dog’s health and well-being. other ingredients include broth, fish oil, and dairy products. We suggest asking a professional such as your trusted veterinarian before adding anything new to your dog’s dry food. Another method is to consider adding dog food toppers. Pet food manufacturers also make kibble toppers in the form of freeze-dried ingredients.
Is there dry dog food that is soft?
There isn’t a completely dry dog food that is soft and chewy. However, there are many formulas on the market that have raw pieces and chewy tenders included in the regular dry dog food recipe. Pet foods such as these are labeled as having raw bites of freeze-dried bits. Canned dog food, a raw diet, and freshly-cooked subscription dog foods are all soft alternatives to the regular hard kibble. Since we’ve mentioned raw diet, you can actually make raw food for dogs at home.
Will a picky dog starve?
Pet owners are no strangers to a picky eater. However, that doesn’t decrease the worry and stress a loving fur parent has. So the big question is whether a picky dog will end up starving. The answer is no. When a dog gets hungry enough, he will eat his food. The problem is if you are willing to wait it out or if you think adding a flavor enhancer is a quicker solution.
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Softening food has a variety of benefits that even a healthy dog may need. Aside from improving digestion and improving the nutritional profile of the food, you can also experiment with new recipes and textures to combat picky eating. Just make sure to ask your veterinarian beforehand to eliminate the chances of adverse effects.
Did You Know?
Your dog’s digestive system won’t have to work as hard to digest soft food. Just remember to pre-soften the food for 15 minutes before mealtime because it takes time for the ingredients to take effect.
Softening your dog food with certain ingredients can also make up for an unbalanced diet. Read the label on your dog’s kibble to determine what supplements he needs. In most cases, deriving vitamins and minerals from natural sources beats pills.