Buying dog food isn’t usually the problem, however, your effort might go to waste if you purchase dry dog food and your dog is one picky pup.
Or if it’s having a hard time chewing dry, hard food. This is why how to soften dry dog food pops up in many FAQs regarding dog food.
Softening or pre-moistening your dog’s dry food can make it more appetizing for your pup and even easier to eat.
If you rarely feed your dog canned (wet) food and focus more on dry food and would love to pre-moisten or soften it up, this article discusses in detail how to go about it.
Five Types of Dog Food
First, let’s take a look at the many types of dog food, then reasons why you might be interested in softening your dry dog food, and if it’s a welcomed idea.
There are five major types of dog food which include:
- Canned dog food
- Dry or Kibble dog food
- Homemade/cooked, and
Of the five types of dog food, dry or kibble pet foods are the most popular option due to several factors, including economical (they are the cheapest commercial dog food any dog owner can purchase).
Also, the fact that they are long-lasting and can be kept in good condition for months without the need for refrigerating is impressive.
While it has many benefits, like keeping dogs’ teeth healthy by fighting tartar buildup (encourages chewing), pre-moistening these dog foods can help dogs with terrible chewers.
Reasons to soften dry dog foods
One of the major reasons to soften dry dog foods is introducing ‘dry/kibble’ foods to dogs that are used to canned/wet foods. If your dog is used to wet foods, there’s a high possibility of seeing resistance when you try to switch up the foods.
The wet food can be a lot more palatable at sight, and the dog may not notice the difference until they’ve consumed it. There’s also the benefit of helping puppies who are new to dry dog foods start consuming these pre-moistened foods.
If your doggy isn’t a big fan of drinking water, you should also consider adding moisture to their foods. This way, it gets to consume more water and stay hydrated.
PRO TIP: It’s best to use warm water to soften dry dog foods. This way, it will give out more of the flavor and aroma of the food and make it more inviting insight.
Ways to Soften Dry Dog Food
While different people have different methods they apply to soften their dog food; the best procedure is actually to follow the instruction by the manufacturer (usually written on the package of the dry/kibble food).
Here are a few ways to soften that dry dog food.
Add water to dry food
Start with adding a few tablespoons of warm water to the dry dog food and let it soften on its own. If you don’t like the thickness, you can add a few more tablespoons of water.
Some people prefer getting more flavors out by using stock of such foods as beef, low-sodium chicken, and tuna juice in softening their dry dog food.
It all depends on what you want to what you plan to achieve. Do you want to add a strong aroma to entice your pet to eat, or do you simply want to break it down, so it’s a lot easier to chew?
Mix Canned Dog Food to Dry Dog Food:
This is another approach you can consider. Mixing up canned/wet dog food with your kibble dog food will help soften the dry dog food.
That aside, you also get the rich flavor from the canned food to the dry dog meal, improving the overall flavor of the food.
Using Milk to Soften Kibbles: If your dog loves milk, you can consider using warm milk to soften the dry dog food, adding a rich flavor and essential nutrients like calcium at the same time.
Is Softening Dry Dog Food Good?
While most dog owners who feed their pets kibbles would love to soften these dry foods, they are often skeptical about the implication.
So the question, if it’s okay to soften dry dog foods is often asked. The short answer is yes, it is okay to do so.
However, it would help if you kept in mind that while it is often recommended to soften hard dog foods, they were made for a purpose and have other alternatives for other purposes.
Also, softening the dog food should be done with warm water. Any other method of softening that dry dog food should be discussed with your vet, especially if your pet is allergic to certain things.
Overall, if your dog doesn’t have a problem chewing, then dry dog food is recommended. You can also teach your dog to learn to chew dry dog food if it’s skeptical.
Are Dry Dog Foods Good for My Dogs?
There are about five (5) different dog foods, and dry dog foods are the most common commercial dog meals.
This should tell you that, yes, they are good for most doggies. As a pet owner, you can purchase dry dog foods in bulk and store them for a long time.
This way, you don’t have to worry about feeding your dog for months, as there should be enough at home. If you can afford wet dog food (canned), you can also consider them.
A mix of both food types won’t harm your dog, but if you’re skeptical, you can always reach out to your local veterinary doctor.
Things to avoid while softening your dog’s dry food
It’s only ideal since we said you could mix your canned food with your dry dog food. We also advise that you do so with decorum. You might want to avoid mixing different food brands.
If you must mix different food brands, be sure you have consulted a local vet to ensure that the meals you’re giving your adorable doggies are healthy and nutritionally balanced.
Only a trained vet can give you the right information about the foods and if they are healthy for your pets, so consulting a vet is important because you get to learn:
- Which dog food is formulated for your pet’s stage of life
- Dog food formulated for your pet’s lifestyle
- Dog food which your pet may react to adversely
If you don’t consult a vet before mixing different food brands, you may miss out on being informed on their composition, and failure to do that and subsequently feeding your pet these dog foods may negatively affect your dogs, including:
- Being overexposed or underexposed to different minerals, vitamins, and others present in their foods.
- Getting overweight which is unhealthy for your paw buddy.
PRO TIP: You should not mix therapeutic food with your dry dog food without consulting your local veterinary doctor. Doing this may dilute the precise formula of your pet diet and may hamper your dog from getting the intended benefits.
Also, do NOT mix fresh foods with stale foods. This is a common abnormality that is very wrong as it affects your pet’s quality of life, health, and lifespan.
Should You Consider Dry Dog Food? What Are The Advantages Over Wet Dog Food?
If you are thinking of trying out dry dog food, you should give it a trial. It has a lot more advantages than wet dog food (although both have their disadvantages).
However, we’re looking at the advantages of wet dog food. So:
- It’s a lot cheaper than wet dog foods.
- Ease of transport when compared with moving canned food.
- Longer shelf life. Although wet dog food/canned food can stay months, dry dog food lasts long even when opened.
- The best part is the fact that it can be converted to wet dog food easily with warm water.
Dry dog foods are great for dogs that don’t have issues chewing. However, if you need to convert that dry dog food to wet dog food, you should do so.
Hygiene is important in dog food, so be sure to observe high hygiene etiquette when you want to soften dry dog food. If you do it right, your dog will thank you for it. Here’s to a happy, healthy doggy!