If you are among the 94% of dog owners in the US who prefer purchasing dry kibble for their dogs, you’ve probably wondered how to make dry dog food wet at some point or another. Wet dog food is more palatable and can make feeding easier for picky and convalescing dogs.
To make dry dog food wet, simply add water, low-sodium meat broth, or vegetable broth so your dog’s kibble is moist but not mushy. Alternatively, you can mix dry kibble with canned food as long as you transition gradually to prevent an upset stomach. You can also use goat milk after consultation with your vet.
In the rest of the article, I’ll give you quick and easy steps to making dry dog food wet using these options. The simple and easy hacks have worked for my dog. Of course, I got a go-ahead from my vet, which is why I’m sharing them with you. Let’s start with your most probable guess.
1. Add Water to Your Dog’s Kibble
Clean water is the safest drink for any creature, counting your dog. As such, you can safely add a bit of water to your dog’s dry food.
There are several benefits of adding water to dry dog food:
- It’s a healthy change when your dog seems bored with the same old crunchy kibble.
- It makes kibble more digestible; it is added moisture, after all.
- It makes chewing easier when your dog has dental or other medical conditions without the risk of an upset stomach. Water is neutral.
- It satiates your dog faster without additional calories from the water, helping you control your pet’s weight when needed.
- It helps with dehydration, especially if your dog is not in the habit of drinking water regularly.
Adding water to kibble is easy. Here’s what you do:
- Pour your dog’s usual kibble portion into the pet’s bowl. The bowl should be large enough for an additional volume.
- Add room-temperature filtered water to the kibble. Most people will tell you to add a quarter cup, but that rule is risky because the amount of kibble for each dog is different. I recommend adding the water gradually until the kibble soaks without making it soupy.
Note that you can add the water a little warm. But that also means less water as it will soak the kibble faster.
- Stir gently to help with even soaking. I don’t recommend mashing the kibble, as your dog might find it unappealing. Simply ensure that the kibble is well-soaked.
- Allow the food to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Your dog’s food should be ready to serve by then.
Here are some pictures of my dog’s food to show how the kibble changes into canned food simply by adding water.
If you want to know the pros and cons of wetting dry dog food with water, my article on Adding Water To Dry Dog Food is a complete version, or watch my YouTube video below.
2. Add Low-Sodium Meat Broth
Which dog does not like meat or the tasty broth that comes from it? My dog does, and I’ve no doubt yours does too.
Especially if you are researching how to make dry dog food wet because your dog is picky or has a low appetite, tasty meat broth is your number one bet.
But there’s a precaution to it:
- Broth comes with additional calories. For example, a cup of homemade chicken broth has up to 38 calories. It might not sound much, but if you’re a 5 lb Chihuahua with a daily calorie intake of 250 calories, then it’s a big deal. So, you need to factor in the amount of broth you use to wet the kibble and deduct the calories from the usual amount you give to your dog.
- If you go for a commercially prepared broth, go for low-sodium broth. If the label reflects the content, low-sodium broth has less than 140mg of sodium in every serving, making it healthier for your dog.
To wet dry dog food with broth, simply prepare the broth and follow the same steps as when adding water to kibble. Using warm broth will give faster results and use up lesser amounts.
3. Use Homemade Vegetable Broth
If you are making dry kibble wet for a sick dog, homemade vegetable broth is a great choice. Apart from the fact that it is easy to make by shallow boiling dog-safe vegetables, it also has a number of benefits:
- It has plenty of healthy vitamins and digestive enzymes.
- It is filling without being packed with fattening calories.
- It doesn’t have the additives found in commercial options, such as artificial flavors and added sodium.
If you go for this trick to turn dry dog food into canned, be sure to use only dog-safe vegetables. The AKC proposes the following vegetables as safe for dogs:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green beans
Instead, avoid vegetables that are toxic for dogs, like garlic, onions, and some varieties of mushrooms. A combination of the safe ones is also great, say carrots and peas to start with.
Use the same steps for adding water to dry kibble described above to turn dry dog food into canned by adding vegetable broth.
4. Mix Canned and Dry Dog Food
This last hack on how to make dry dog food wet is only recommended for two categories of dogs:
- Healthy dogs who have not shown signs of an upset stomach when their usual food is changed. However, if you transition gradually, most dogs will be fine.
- Dogs whose owners are trying to shift from a dry to a wet diet.
Mixing dry kibble with canned food can increase its moisture content. You will need to determine how much of each type you need to mix in to achieve the desired effect of wet kibble.
Alternatively, mix the two portions in the desired amounts and add a bit of water to increase the moisture content. Water does no harm.
If you go with this option, there are two rules to abide by:
- Only mix kibble and canned foods of the same type (similar nutritional profiles) and are meant for dogs of the same age (puppies, adults, or seniors). If the food is meant for a particular breed, be sure to factor that as well.
- Ensure the amount you mix from each type accounts for your dog’s daily calorie intake. If you are not sure, seek help from your vet.
5. Add Goat Milk
Most veteran dog owners know that milk is a common source of food intolerance in dogs. Although it is safe to give a few tablespoons of milk to your dog as a treat once in a while, it should not be given to dogs in large quantities at one go.
However, I’ve been following the new trend that proposes goat milk as a healthy addition to the dog diet.
According to veterinarians.org, goat milk is becoming a popular addition to kibble and homemade dog food. Besides, it has many health benefits for managing diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections.
Also, research on goat milk as an innovative canine nutrition proposal has shown that fermented goat milk has healthy probiotic qualities and is safe for dogs.
Going by this, you can add goat milk to make dry dog food wet as an alternative to water and broth once in a while.
You certainly know the philosophy of good dog ownership and feeding by now: talk to your vet first!
A Concluding Caveat
Every good dog owner knows how important it is to learn the unique nutritional needs of their pet before going for what is meant for all dogs.
As such, it’s crucial to talk to your dog’s vet before adopting the above tricks on how to make dry dog food wet.
Your vet will help you determine how to adapt the options to your dog’s case because every dog is different!