Find Discounts on Your Favorite pet dog Products and Save Up To 20%!

Let's Go!

Is It Okay To Add Water To Dry Dog Food?

We may earn a commission if you click on a link, but at no extra cost to you. Read our disclosure policy for information.

Tim Rhodes

Sometimes, our pets do not get as much water as we would love them to have, so in such scenarios, you may want to consider adding water to dry dog food, as a means of boosting their water intake.

You love your dog, and when you love someone, you care for them, and that includes knowing what they like and what they dislike.

However, when someone depends on you, like your dog, you should know what’s good for their health and what’s not.

When it comes to your dog, all heated arguments boil down to dog food, as it is usually a never-ending debate, whether you should add water to dry dog food or not, and it seems like it is never going to end soon.

But how about if we make it easier for you, and discuss dry dog food at length, so you get a clear idea of all possible options?

Table of Contents

Is It Okay To Add Water To Dry Dog Food?

So, today, we’ll be going through the most anticipated question ‘is it okay to add water to dry dog food’?

Also, we’ll look at the benefits and risks involved, with adding water to dry dog food, how to and how much water to add to dry dog food, some other things you can add to dry dog food, and what to keep in mind before adding water to dry dog food.

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Dry Dog Food

Dogs eat dry food, as well as wet canned food, and the high quality processed food contains all the essential nutrients a dog needs.

While there are different kinds and brands of dog food available in the market, dry dog food has its own place.

Dry dog food has bagged kibbles, that contain all the necessary nutrients to keep your dog healthy.

It has carbohydrates in cereal form, proteins in the form of meat byproducts, vitamins, grains, and minerals, etc.

Basically, dry food has a lot of kibbles, but the exact ingredients vary.

However, dry dog food has less water, you can say about 3-11% of water, which is why you know it as dry dog food.

Less water might cause digestive distress sometimes, which is why many dog owners prefer to add water to dry food.

Adding water also reduces the chances of dehydration, and dry dog food is usually inexpensive, and easily available in the market.

Some dogs prefer dry dog food, while others like wet canned food, because of the enriching aroma that pops out from wet food.

Now if you consider whether to use wet dog food or you should mix water in, there are definitely different opinions.

The best practice is, to do your own research and most importantly, consult your pet’s vet.

Let’s take a look at the benefits, of adding water to dry dog food.

Benefits of Adding Water To Dry Dog Food

The idea of adding water to dry dog food surprises many people but, if there are no restrictions by your vet, you’re free to choose.

In fact, there should be nothing stopping your choice, and you should definitely add water to dry dog food.

Adding water to dry dog food costs you nothing, but brings about enough benefits, to convince you to add water.

It is more beneficial, however, if your dog is continually on dry food.

Just to let you know, that soaking dry kibble in water is a good practice, let us share some of the benefits of adding water to your dog’s food.

Keeps Your Dog Hydrated

While dogs are not as bad as cats when it comes to poor water-drinking habits, it is still important to keep dogs hydrated.

Since your dog is on dry food that has only about 10% water, the dry food may absorb more water, and the dog may get dehydrated.

Adding water to the food is the easiest way to make your dog drink more water, and stay hydrated/fresh

It also prevents many health problems, that we are going to discuss next. 

So let’s move on to it.

Keeps Your Dog Away From Diseases

You might wonder, how adding water to dry dog food will keep your dog away from diseases but, it’s true.

When your dog is on dry food and water intake is less, there is a great risk of urinary tract infection.

Similarly, low water intake can lead to dehydration, as well as an imbalance of necessary electrolytes, that your dog needs to keep going.

Not only that, but a continual low intake of water may lead to low blood volume, which can pose other health issues to your dog.

So, adding water prevents your dog from critical health issues.

Makes Digestion Easier

Other than keeping your dog hydrated and fresh, soaked dry food makes it easier for your dog to digest easily.

It decreases the workload on your dog’s digestive system and improves gastric functioning.

Enzymes work more efficiently, and food is digested, and distributed to the body easily.

Also, soaked food makes it easier for your little puppy or old dog, to chew it and break it down into smaller pieces, so it digests easily.

If the dry, solid, and hard food, go into the stomach directly, it puts a burden on the GI of your dog and increases the risk, of stomach upset or other GI issues.

Just by adding water, you get rid of it all and make life easier for your dog.

Makes Them Enjoy Food

If for any reason your dog acts like kids who run away from food, adding water might help.

Here’s how.

Dry dog food doesn’t have the same intense aroma, as wet food.

When you add water, the aroma pops out and when your dog smells it, the signals go into the brain and stimulate the hunger center.

It’s the same as when you smell hot delish food, and it makes you more hungry.

Also, it will make food easier to chew, and thus easier to eat.

So your dog will enjoy soaked kibbles, better than dry ones.

Costs You Nothing

Not a direct benefit but, considering the health benefits it brings just by adding water to dry food, it is a huge advantage.

And that is, it costs you virtually nothing.

Just add water, reap the benefits, and pave the way for your dog to live a healthy life.

So, the dry food that is inexpensive and nutrient-rich, is more beneficial for your dog when you add water to it.

Slows Down Eating Time

If your dog eats too fast and just slurps up the whole bowl in a few mouthfuls, you might want to discourage the practice.

Research suggests that large dogs are, more prone to develop gastric dilatation-volvulus if, they eat too fast.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) is a fatal disease, that progresses fast, and proves to be life-threatening for your dog.

When you add water to dry dog food, it slows down their eating time and also prevents bloating, which is a common problem for big dogs.

Risks of Adding Water to Dry Dog Food

While there are no major risks involved with adding water to dog food, there is one thing you should take care of when you add water, to a dog’s dry food.

When you add water to dry dog food, make sure your dog eats it in an hour or two.

This is because if you leave it for hours after soaking, it’ll spoil in a few hours and you’d have to discard it.

Also, soaked food attracts flies, so make sure to not leave it uncovered for flies.

Should You Add Water to Dry Dog Food?

Now if you think you should add water to your dog’s dry food or not, well, it’s up to you.

You can stick to the dry food or try soaking it in water.

Obviously, you should consult your veterinarian before doing so, as pets like cats and dogs have body systems, that require plenty of water.

When your dog eats solid dry food, it steals digestive fluids and upsets the stomach.

Not only that, but it may also lead to severe dehydration if, your dog doesn’t drink plenty of water otherwise.

If your dog drinks after eating food, it may lead to bloating, but mixing water with the food won’t cause this trouble.

You can take two bowls with dry dog food, and add water in one while leaving the other as is, with only dry food.

Notice the difference for yourself, and decide whether you should add water to dry dog food or not.

Here’s When You Should Add Water To Dry Dog Food

To be honest, you can add water to any dog food, but in some situations, it is more preferable to others.

Let’s look at these conditions when you should add water to a dog’s food.

When Water Intake Is Low

Like cats, some dogs act notorious when you give them water, and if you have such a dog who avoids drinking water, you can’t ignore the fact that water is a must.

Dehydration is dangerous and may prove to be fatal.

So, if your dog doesn’t drink water, soak dry dog food in water and give it to your dog.

Not only will it be good for their digestive system but, the water will keep your dog hydrated.

When You Need To Give Supplements

There are times when your dog needs medication or supplements, so you mix these supplements with dog food.

Turns out it repels your dog, and now you’re worried.

When this happens, soak the food in water, and the water will suppress the smell of medications or supplements.

For larger dogs with arthritic pain, some supplements are useful but, the smell is awful for dogs.

Adding water solves the problem, delivers the supplement or medication, as well as hydrates your dog.

When Your Dog Has Dental Issues

If your dog suffers from painful teething or other dental issues, consult your veterinarian.

Although older and senior dogs usually suffer from dental troubles, puppies can have dental problems too.

Meanwhile, giving dry food in such situations will only make it worse, thus adding water will make dry food soft, and alleviate the pain.

You can call it yet another benefit of adding water to dry food, as it helps dogs with sore mouths.

Even though soaked food may help alleviate pain, you should still head over to your veterinarian and get your dog checked up.

Here’s Why to Add Water in Dry Food Instead of Getting Wet Food

Many people argue over adding water to dry food.

They’d say why can’t you just give wet canned food, instead of adding water to dry food.

Well, not just that, people believe dry food prevents tartar build-up, so you shouldn’t soak it in water.

However, on the contrary, many dogs don’t even chew the food properly, instead, they try to gulp it all down in a few big mouthfuls.

Dry foods are dehydrated basically for storage purposes, and when you intend to give it to your dog, you can add water.

Adding water will only benefit your dog, and the dog won’t have to drink more water after the food.

While it doesn’t harm many dogs, eating dry food can lead to bloating in some dogs, thus, soaking dry food in water will prevent your dog from bloating.

As for soaking dry food instead of wet food, well, it boils down to your personal choice.

Dry food is economical, and more nutritious, with high-calorie content.

It is less smelly for us and quite easy to store, thus, it has low moisture content and you can add water when it’s time for a meal.

How Much Water To Add in Dry Dog Food?

No one answer fits all, you’d need to experiment with it, and see how your dog prefers it.

Just for an idea, there are a few things that can help you determine how much water, to add to dry dog food

If the food is less, you’d want to add less water and vice versa.

The amount of water you add to dry food may also depend on the weather.

If it’s too hot outside, you might want to add more water, so your dog stays hydrated and fresh, similarly, if it’s cold, you can go with less water.

Also, you need to experiment with how much water your dog likes.

Some dogs may be fine with a bowl full of soggy kibbles, while others would like dried and less watery.

You can start by adding a half cup of water, to a full cup of kibble and see how it goes.

How to Add Water to Dry Dog Food

If you’re not sure how to add water to your dog’s dry food, this might help.

You should know that there is no harm in adding water to dry food, unless, your veterinarian recommends otherwise.

Now, to the topic of how to add water, and things to consider while adding water, there are a few things to look into.

First, you can adjust the amount of water you add, according to your dog’s liking.

How’d you know how much water your dog likes? By experimenting of course.

Try it with 1/4th cup of water, for one full cup of dry kibbles.

You can increase the amount of water, or decrease later if, your dog doesn’t like it.

Secondly, soak the dry food in water for at least 10 minutes, so the kibbles can absorb the water properly and soften well.

How long you soak dry food in water, also depends upon how hot the water is.

Thirdly, if you add warm water, be it microwaved or warmest tap water, it’ll soak the dry kibbles better.

Also, make sure that the food is at normal temperature before you serve it to your dog, and not too hot.

Another thing is to make sure, that you don’t add too much water.

So, to sum it up, you can add warm water to the dry kibbles, with the ratio of half cup water to a full cup of kibbles, and leave it to soak well in water for 10 minutes.

You’re done and ready to serve it to your dog.

What to keep in Mind Before Adding Water To Dry Dog Food

There is one very important thing, to keep in mind before you add water to dry kibbles and make lots of batches to feed later, and that is, to never leave soaked kibbles for more than an hour or so.

If you leave the soaked food for hours in the open, it’ll attract bacteria, as well as get spoiled quickly.

The better option is, to only soak dry dog food freshly when it’s time for a meal or dinner.

An alternate way is, to make two meals and refrigerate one for later but, make sure to never leave it for more than 48 hours.

It only takes you 10-20 minutes to prepare your dog’s meal, so it isn’t worth the risk.

Also, the bowl in which you feed your dog should be washed every time, whether you soak the dog’s dry food or not.

Otherwise, it may be infected with bacteria that may make your dog sick.

So wash the bowl each time, before meal or dinner.

Would Adding Water to Dry Kibble Affect Teeth Cleaning?

Most people think that dry food helps clean a dog’s teeth.

They think that because dry dog food is solid, dry, and hard, it’ll scrub off the tartar.

If you also hesitate due to this reason, well, here is an important fact for you!

This is not factually correct, because dry food doesn’t scrape away all the tartar.

Dry kibbles are high in calories especially in carbohydrates, and like eating kale chips or pretzels won’t clean your teeth, dry food won’t clean your dog’s teeth either.

There are different opinions of experts, on the dental health of the dogs that eat dry food.

While some researchers and experts claim, that dogs who eat dry food have a pretty bad smell and suffer more from dental issues, some experts say there isn’t much of a difference.

So, if dry food were to eliminate plaque buildup and tartar, 80% of the dogs won’t be suffering from dental issues.

So the thing is, if you avoid adding water just because you think it’ll help your dog keep its teeth clean, you’re wrong.

To keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy, feed raw bones, brush your dog’s teeth, and schedule a visit to your veterinarian.

Meanwhile, you can add water to dry dog food and reap other benefits that await.

Final Thoughts

So now you know all the benefits of adding water to dry dog food like; keeping your dog hydrated, away from diseases, improves digestion, increases salivation and thus stimulates hunger, and more.

Also, you’re now well aware of the fact that, along with the benefits of adding water to dry food brings, it also prevents bloating.

Similarly, you can now add water in the proper ratio, and experiment with it, to know what quantity your dog likes the best.

Not to forget that, dry food is dehydrated for storage purposes, and that adding water will increase water content from 3% which is extremely low, especially if your dog avoids drinking water.

You must get rid of the myth most people have, that dry dog food improves dental hygiene, and helps clean your dog’s teeth.

Like we discussed previously, if you’re concerned about the dental health of your dog, brush your dog’s teeth, feed it some bone, and visit your dog’s veterinarian.

In a nutshell, reap all the benefits of adding water to dry dog food, costing you nothing, and bringing about great health benefits for your dog.

Why not give some of the tips in this article a try, and tell us all about it in the comments section below?

In a Hurry?

Take a look at the most popular and trending pet dog products.