There are many reasons why a dog owner may choose to add water to their pet’s dry dog food. There are also just as many reasons why many owners feel that this is beneficial or detrimental to their dog’s health.
Just like most aspects of canine health, determining the benefits of any particular regimen depends largely on the dog in question, however, here are some commonly found benefits of adding water to dry dog food.
Easier to Chew
Adding water to dry dog food has proven to be very helpful both for puppies and senior dogs, due to the fact that it makes the food easier to chew. Freshly weaned puppies must often start off on moist dog food, which is easier to chew and digest, while their teeth are developing. For older dogs who have experienced tooth decay, adding water to their food can make it easier to eat. In addition to this, it also helps senior dogs maintain their body’s water balance (which they lose with age).
Slows Eating Down and Makes Them Full
When dogs are fast eaters, it often takes increasing amounts of food to create the same fullness. This often leads to overeating and obesity in dogs. Adding water to dogs’ dry kibble makes them slow down to chew and savor their food. Additionally, it makes them feel fuller for longer periods of time and helps maintain weight control.
Adding water to dry dog food has been shown to help breeds that have bloating problems. Many times, dogs eat more dry dog food than they do moist dog food. This is because dry dog foods expand when they are combined with water or digestive stomach acids. However, expanding the dog food before ingestion prevents overeating and bloating. For breeds that have shown tendencies to bloat, adding water to dry dog food can improve their diet and digestive system.
Improves Aroma and Taste of Dry Dog Food
Many dogs don’t like to eat dry food because it simply doesn’t taste as good as wet dog food does. Whenever you add water to the dog food it makes the food expand. As it does this, the ‘aroma’ of the food is released. Not to mention the fact that it also just makes the food taste better in general. Adding water also makes it possible to blend the dog food into a paste or leave it as is. Adding water to dry dog food is basically the cheapest way to increase its flavor and aroma.
Avoid Dehydration & Maintain Body Temperature
It is not uncommon for dogs and humans alike to lose some of their appetite during the hot summer months. Typically, appetite is decreased and thirst is increased as the body tries to remain cool. Dogs who eat only dry kibble during the summer often tend to stay in a state of mild dehydration, especially dogs who don’t drink much water. With the addition of water, dry food can help dogs stay hydrated and reduce thirst. One of the added bonuses of staying hydrated is that it also improves your body’s ability to maintain its temperature during the winter months. In fact, you can also heat moist food during the winter to provide both hydration and warmth.
The Downside of Adding Water to Dry Dog Food
Just as many people indorse wet dog food’s health benefits, there are also those who see another side of the story. Many people don’t believe that adding water really makes a difference. However, there has been evidence to support their reasons.
Can Cause Bloating
Just as eating moist dog food can decrease bloating, it can also cause it. It has been noted that dry dog foods containing citric acid in the first five ingredients can cause bloating when water is added. Certain dogs could also have an allergic reaction to preservatives in the food whenever water is added. Like with many health issues, the effects of wet dog food on bloating will mainly depend upon the dog, their breed and their individual characteristics.
Breeds Bacteria & Spoils
Many people are not a fan of adding water to dog food because most types of bacteria thrive in moist environments. Once water is added, bacteria growth immediately increases. It is important to remember to remove any wet dog food within 4 hours to prevent bacteria growth and spoiling. You cannot always accurately estimate how much food you dog will or won’t eat. Whenever leftover food is allowed to sit for too long, it can spoil and cause health problems for your dog. Eating food that has gone bad can cause vomiting, diarrhea and possibly worse. Whereas, dry food is not as quick to spoil or promote the growth of bacteria, due to the lack of moisture.
Should I Add Water to My Dog’s Food?
If you are trying to decide whether or not adding water to your dog’s food could be beneficial to them, then you should make a few considerations. For starters, you should first consider your dog’s breed and what their history may indicate about eating moist dog food. You should also consider your dog’s health history on a personal level, which may provide some indication of whether or not moist dog food could be beneficial. It is important to have some type of idea as to what dog food is most beneficial for your dog will before you began comparing brands and dog food labels.
Once you have determined what type of dog food is most beneficial, you may still need to make some minor adjustments. Depending on how your dog’s body reacts to their food, you may need to add more or less water. It may also make a difference if you leave it as is or create a paste out of it. In gray areas such as this, you simply must trust in your own judgment to determine what adjustments should be made.