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Add Water to Dry Dog Food

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Adding water to dry dog food can make it more palatable and enhance hydration.
  • Moist dog food is preferred by dogs over dry kibble, especially for weaning puppies.
  • Adding water can improve digestion, boost appetite, slow down eating speed and prevent health problems such as dehydration and urinary issues.
  • The amount of water to add depends on how much food is being served, the climate and the dog's preferences.
  • Other ingredients that can be mixed with dry dog food include meat, fish, stock, cottage cheese, yogurt, fish oil, steamed vegetables, and eggs.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Friday 19 July 2019
Last updated on
Wednesday 10 May 2023
Add Water to Dry Dog Food
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Have you ever considered adding water to your dog’s dry food? Not only does it make the food more palatable, but it can also enhance your dog’s hydration. So, yes, it is perfectly fine to mix dry dog food with water.

In fact, moist dog food is always preferred by dogs over dry kibble, especially for weaning puppies. It tastes better and smells better too. But, it’s important to do it correctly. Keep reading to discover all the benefits and learn how to do it properly with our expert advice.

What Are The Benefits of Adding Water to Dry Dog Food?

Water is added for different reasons, for example, to prevent different health issues (ex: dehydration and blood circulation) and increase appetite in case your dog is not eating enough, but there are many others. Keep reading to learn all about them.

Increases Hydration

Proper hydration is vital for the optimal health of your dog, because water is essential for several physiological functions as an indispensable nutrient, and in addition, it is the perfect medium to remove metabolic waste.

Adding water to make hard dog food soft will kill two birds with one stone, because your pet will enjoy it more and you will help it to drink more water without even noticing it.

Even if it’s soft, wet, raw or homemade dog food, adding some water will help tremendously. For this reason, we’ll bring you precise indications on how much to add in the next sections.

Improves Digestion

Dry dog food can be hard to digest, and therefore, adding some water will give your pet a much easier time. In addition, it will induce a proper absorption of nutrients.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the digestive sensitivity of your dog varies according to its size, therefore, an important metric to monitor, because proper digestion is essential for the optimal health of your dog.

In consequence, the best strategy is to feed it with highly digestible protein in addition to proper hydration. However, with small breeds, you must avoid ingredients that could reduce colonic fermentation.

Boosts Appetite

If your dog is not eating enough, then water is a great solution to stimulate your dog’s appetite. By adding some of it, you will allow the dry food to release its aroma and flavor, which can spark the curiosity of your pet. It’s ideal for sick dogs with low appetite.

mixing water with dry dog food
Mixing dry dog food with water boosts the meal’s palatability which is great for picky eaters!

Additionally, some dogs simply prefer wet food to kibble, and adding water is the fastest and most economical way of overcoming such difficulty. Simple and easy.

Our tip is to add warm water because it will allow the aroma and develop to develop better, which will attract your dog even more.

Slows Down Dinner Time

Eating speed is a very influential factor in the health of your pet because if it is too fast, in consequence, your dog will develop several health issues, especially if it is a large breed like Dobermann or English Mastiff.

Evidence suggests that large breed dogs are more likely to develop a Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) if they ate fast, which is a life-threatening condition that progresses at a fast rate.

We are sure that now you understand the importance of slowing down dinnertime, in consequence, all you must do is to add water to dry dog food.

Prevents Health Problems


As we have just seen, water is a medium for eliminating metabolic waste, therefore, when dehydration happens, it leads to severe consequences:

  • Loss of electrolytes (ex: sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, and phosphorus) – This creates an imbalance or disturbance, which is linked to death in dogs. The symptoms include pain, weakness, lethargy, breathing difficulties and seizures
  • Urinary issues – Because there is not enough water, which can lead to serious UTIs
  • Blood circulation problems – Because as your dog loses electrolytes, the concentration of sodium increases

Enough reasons to add water to dry dog food, because it’ll prevent all of these threats. Consequently, your pet will love you!

When To Mix Water with Dry Dog Food

Honestly, you can add water to any kind of dog food; however, under certain circumstances, it delivers especially good results. Let’s check if it’s your case!

For Puppies Being Weaned Off Milk

If you want to help their transition from milk to solid food, then adding some water will help tremendously. Because their teeth aren’t developed yet, therefore turning dry dog food into wet will allow them to chew it easily and digest it properly.

We recommend you to use warm water and turn it into a kind of gruel, just like baby food. We guarantee you that your puppy will love it. That is why in an encounter of dry dog food versus wet, the latter will win most of the time because puppies are fussy eaters and they prefer a moist texture and richer aroma.

However, when to stop soaking puppy food? There is no definitive answer, but 8 to 12 weeks seems to be the ideal range. You have to test and see how your puppy reacts.

when to stop giving gruel and feeding puppy food
Puppy gruel is given to puppies during the weaning period. Then, dry puppy food is given until the puppy becomes an adult.

When a Dog Isn’t Drinking Water

Several dogs can be poor drinkers of water. Therefore, soaking dry dog food in water will help to hydrate your pet. We’ve already discussed the dangers of dehydration; however, it is worth noting that it could be a symptom of a health issue.

Here are some health problems in which dehydration can be an alarming and common symptom:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Injury inside or near to the mouth of your dog
  • Damaged teeth
  • Urinary infection

Therefore, if the problem persists, you should visit your veterinarian to discard any of the aforementioned issues. Another tip to help dogs drink more is to use a water fountain. Indeed, running water entices dogs a lot more than still water.

To Disguise the Taste of Something

If you need to supplement your pet with vitamins or treat it with a medicine, the easiest way to administer it is by mixing it with food. Nonetheless, some dogs will refuse to eat it due to the taste.

The best way to disguise it is to add water to dry dog food, to moisten it and allow the flavor and aroma of kibble to expand and mask it totally.

For example, it’s a great way to hide the flavor of supplements like hemp CBD oil, which has proven to reduce arthritic pain and boost activity in dogs. It’s helpful but its flavor can repel many dogs, and if it were your case, then you’d only need to add some water.

However, what to mix with dry dog food if water were not enough? Stock will do the trick. You can use bones (takes longer) or meat. Either way, you will provide your dog with superior nutrition.

To Prevent Dental Problems

If it’s the case of your pet, feeding it with dry food won’t help its condition, to the contrary, it will only worsen it. You could change to wet food; however, soaking dry dog food in water will have a similar effect.

You will have to test different levels of wateriness until hitting the sweet spot. Nonetheless, this should be only part of the treatment and care for your dog, because dental problems when unattended will deteriorate the health of your pet.

For instance, your dog can develop a case of periodontal disease, which is very serious because it will end up destroying the gums and tissue that supports its teeth. Then, it’s important to monitor such problems and consult with a veterinarian promptly.

How Much Water to Add to Dry Dog Food?

Adding water to your dog’s food is a great way to keep them hydrated and healthy. But how much water should you add? It depends on three things: how much food you’re serving, the climate you live in, and your dog’s preferences.

In warmer weather, your dog will need more water to stay hydrated, so be sure to add extra. And when it comes to texture, some dogs like their food really wet, while others prefer it drier. Try adding just a little water at first and see how your dog reacts, then adjust accordingly.

Of course, the more food you serve, the more water you’ll need to add. But don’t worry, it’s easy to figure out the right amount with a little trial and error. Just pay attention to your dog’s reactions and adjust as needed. With a little practice, you’ll be able to find the perfect balance of food and water to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

What Else Can You Mix with Dry Dog Food?

If you have no idea of what to mix with dry dog food, then here you have some excellent examples


  • Add Meat and Fish – Animal protein is essential for your pet because it is of higher quality, easier to digest and promotes a healthy metabolism by facilitating the oxidation of fat. Therefore, topping dog food with meat or fish will allow your pet to thrive and feel fantastic because it will meet its nutritional requirements
  • Add Stock – Bone broth will improve the health of your dog because it is an excellent source of collagen, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, glucosamine and amino acids like glycine and arginine. In addition, it is helpful for treating the leaky gut syndrome, arthritis and detoxing your pet from pollutants and heavy metals
  • Add Cottage Cheese and Yogurt – Two super-foods because they are a great source of minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and high-quality proteins. Furthermore, they introduce novelty to the diet of your dog, especially if it has been eating only dry dog food. Thus, it’s a good idea to integrate them.
  • Add Fish Oil – Only add water to dry dog food and then fish oil and you will bring your pet a dish it will love. It is anti-inflammatory, and therefore, it is recommended for dogs that suffer from canine OA and cannot take traditional analgesics
  • Add Some Steamed Vegetables – You can add some steamed cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach, carrots or asparagus. Like yogurt and cottage cheese, it is a great way to bring a surprise factor to the food of your dog. Hence, if you to make your dog’s food more interesting, here you have an option
  • Add Eggs – They are an amazing source of folate, iron, selenium, fatty acids, vitamin B12, riboflavin and vitamin A, which are compounds that are necessary for the optimal health of your dog. However, make sure to only add eggs (no salt or spices). Additionally, you can mix it along with meat, fish, vegetables or stock. You name it.

In addition, avoid mixing dog food brands, because you can create deficiencies and excesses of certain nutrients and disrupt the mineral composition and balance of the food. Being that, stick to only one brand and one kind of dry food.


As you can see, adding water to dog food is full of incredible benefits, it will make your life easier and it takes minimal investment and effort. In conclusion, it will keep your dog hydrated and healthy, and for specific circumstances, it is definitively the superior option.

One comment on “Add Water to Dry Dog Food”

  1. Beth Townsend

    I read that water in dry dog food possibly could cause bloat.

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