If you’re a dog owner, you know that mealtime is one of the highlights of your furry friend’s day. But what if your dog turns up their nose at dry kibble? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Soften dry dog food by adding warm water or broth, and let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Boost flavor and nutrition with additions like yogurt, veggies, tuna, or cheese. If needed, a fish supplement can also be a great alternative.
In this blog, we’re diving into the simple yet effective ways to transform that crunchy kibble into a moist, delicious meal that your dog will love.
From the magic of warm water to the wonders of nutritious add-ins, we’ll explore how to soften dry dog food while boosting its flavor and health benefits.
Whether you’re catering to a picky eater, a senior dog with sensitive teeth, or just looking to mix things up, these tips will surely make your dog’s tail wag with joy.
So, let’s start making mealtime a gourmet experience for your four-legged companion!
How To Soften Dry Dog Food
If you’ve been struggling to get your furry friend to eat their dry food, it could be that the kibble is just too hard and unappealing. Maybe they’ve become a picky eater or have dental problems.
One way to make mealtime more enjoyable for your dog is to add some moisture to the dry food.
Not only will this make the food softer and easier to eat, but it can also add some extra flavor and nutrition to your dog’s diet.
Here are 5 simple ways to add moisture to dry dog food. At the end, I’ll tell you my dog’s preferences!
1. Mix in a Little Warm Water
This is a quick and easy way to add moisture to dry dog food. Just be sure not to add too much liquid, as it can change the nutrient balance of the food.
In a nutshell, add a quarter of a cup of warm water, but you can check out this post for step-by-step instructions and pictures, Adding Water To Dry Dog Food.
You can also wet the food the night before and let it sit in the fridge. This can help to soften the kibble and make it more appealing to your dog. Just be sure to store the wet food in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.
Watch Our Video on Adding Water To Kibble…
2. Mix in Some Broth
Mix in some unsalted beef or chicken broth to soften the kibble. Ensure it is made from all-natural ingredients.
The broth will significantly enhance the flavor of the food while adding moisture. It also has the added benefit of additional vitamins and minerals.
Simply pour the broth over the food and serve at room temperature. Add a small amount at first – just enough to moisten the food, then gradually increase the amount to find the preferred consistency for your dog.
3. Add Some Wet Food
Adding one of two spoonfuls of canned wet food can add moisture and flavor to the meal. Just be sure to choose high-quality wet or canned food and monitor your dog’s intake to ensure he receives the right balance of nutrients.
You can also mix dog food brands if they have the correct nutritional value.
4. Add a Food Topping
Mix some yogurt or cottage cheese to add protein and calcium to your dog’s diet. Just be sure to choose a plain, unsweetened variety and monitor your dog’s intake to ensure they get the right balance of nutrients.
Other alternatives are to add some cooked, mashed vegetables for added nutrition and to soften the food.
As for the step before, be sure to choose safe vegetables for dogs and monitor your dog’s intake. And if you want more ideas, head over here: 15 Easy Foods To Mix With Dry Dog Food.
5. Use a Fish Supplement
Salmon oil is a liquid food supplement that can add moisture to your dog’s kibble. A few quirts of this natural anti-inflammatory additive can also be combined with a bit of water and added to your dog’s bowl.
This salmon oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which benefits dogs with heart issues, joint problems, and skin or coat conditions.
It also supports the immune system and is an excellent food topper overall.
So, as promised and in order of preference, here’s how my German Shepherd Willow prefers to have her kibble softened:
- Adding wet dog food
- Sprinkling human food toppings
- Adding warm water
The Benefits of Softening Kibble
There are a few key benefits to softening dry dog food.
- It can make the food more appealing and easier for your dog. Hard kibble can be unappealing and difficult for some dogs to chew, especially as they get older or have dental issues. By softening the food, you can help to make mealtime more enjoyable for your furry friend.
- Softening dry dog food can make it easier for your dog to digest. Hard kibble can be tough on your dog’s digestive system, especially if they are not used to it. By softening the food, you can help reduce the strain on your dog’s digestive system and make it easier for them to digest and absorb the nutrients in the food.
- Softening dry dog food can help ensure your dog gets the right balance of nutrients. By adding moisture to the food, you can help ensure that your dog is getting the right amount of water in their diet, which is essential for overall health and well-being.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider
While there are certainly some benefits to softening dry dog food, it is important to also consider the potential drawbacks.
- Adding moisture to the food can change the nutrient balance of the diet. Dry dog food is formulated to provide the right balance of nutrients for your dog, and adding extra moisture to the food can alter this balance. This can be especially true if you add a lot of wet food or broth to the kibble, as these sources of moisture can also add extra calories and nutrients to the diet.
- Softening the food can make it spoil more quickly. Wet or moistened dog food can spoil faster than dry kibble, so it is essential to store it properly and use it within a reasonable amount of time. This can be especially important if you are wetting the food the night before and letting it sit in the fridge, as it can become contaminated with bacteria if it is not stored properly.
- Consider the cost of adding moisture to dry dog food. Wet or canned food is typically more expensive than dry kibble, and adding it to the diet regularly can add up. It is important to consider your budget and find a balance that works for you and your dog.
- Feeding dogs softened dry food may lead to higher cortisol levels and changes in the diversity of intestinal microbes, according to this study. However, it may also increase the presence of certain pathogenic bacteria, potentially causing disruptions to the intestinal microbiome and leading to metabolic disorders in dogs.
Ultimately, this research suggests that while softening dry food may not offer digestive benefits, it may cause stress and pose a potential threat to the intestinal health of dogs. Nonetheless, this was only a small study, and more research is required.
Tips for Storing Wet Dog Food to Prevent Bacterial Growth
Here are a few tips for storing wet or moistened dog food to help prevent bacterial growth:
- Use a clean, airtight container to store the food. This will help to prevent contamination and keep the food fresh.
- Keep the food in the fridge if you are not planning to use it immediately. This will help to slow the growth of bacteria and prevent the food from spoiling.
- If you are storing the food in the fridge, be sure to use it within a few days. Wet or moistened dog food can spoil more quickly than dry kibble, so it is important to use it before it goes bad.
- If you are not planning to use the food within a few days, consider freezing it instead. This will help to preserve the quality of the food and prevent bacterial growth.
- When serving the food, use clean utensils and be sure to discard any leftovers. Wet or moistened food can spoil more quickly than dry kibble, so it is important to avoid leaving it out for extended periods.
Here are a few easy homemade soft dog food recipes that you can try:
- Slow cooker chicken and rice: Combine 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1 cup of brown rice, and 2 cups of chicken broth in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Mash the mixture with a fork or blender and serve.
- Baked sweet potato and turkey: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Slice 1 large sweet potato into thin rounds and place them on a baking sheet. Top with 1 pound of ground turkey. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and the turkey is cooked. Mash the mixture with a fork or blender and serve.
- Slow cooker beef and vegetables: Combine 1 pound of beef stew meat, 1 cup of chopped carrots, 1 cup of chopped green beans, and 1 cup of beef broth in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or until the beef is tender. Mash the mixture with a fork or blender and serve.
- Salmon and quinoa: Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package instructions. Meanwhile, bake 1 pound of salmon at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until cooked. Mash the salmon and quinoa together with a fork or blender and serve.
Remember to consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet, and be sure to choose safe ingredients for dogs to eat.
The Potential Impacts of Softening Kibble on a Dog’s Weight and Overall Health
There is limited research on the potential impacts of softening dry dog food on a dog’s weight and overall health. However, some factors to consider include:
- Nutrient balance: As mentioned earlier, adding moisture to dry dog food can change the nutrient balance of the diet. This could potentially lead to weight gain or weight loss, depending on the specific nutrients and the amount of moisture added. It is important to monitor your dog’s weight and adjust the portions accordingly to ensure they get the right balance of nutrients.
- Caloric intake: Wet or moistened dog food may contain more calories than dry kibble, depending on the specific ingredients and the amount of moisture added. This could potentially lead to weight gain if your dog is consuming more calories than they need. Again, it is important to monitor your dog’s weight and adjust the portions accordingly to ensure they get the right amount of calories.
- Digestive health: Softening dry dog food may make it easier for your dog to digest and absorb the nutrients in their food, which could potentially have positive impacts on overall health. However, if the food is not stored or served correctly, it could also lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting.
Overall, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet and to monitor your dog’s weight and overall health to ensure they are getting the right balance of nutrients and calories.
Do brands make soft kibble?
There are some brands of dry dog food that are formulated to be softer or more easily chewable than others. These types of dry dog food may be suitable for dogs with dental issues or older dogs who have difficulty chewing hard kibble.
However, it is important to note that the texture of dry dog food can vary significantly between brands and formulations. Some dry dog food may be harder or crunchier, while others may be softer or more easily mashed.
Are there any specific tools or appliances that can help soften kibble?
You can soften kibble using a food dehydrator. Set it to a low temperature to preserve its nutrition. You can also blend kibble with a bit of warm water in a high-powered blender or food processor for a softer consistency.
Is microwaving a safe method to soften dry dog food?
To safely soften dry dog food in the microwave, place kibble in a microwave-safe bowl with a bit of water or low-sodium broth, stirring well. Cover the bowl with a vented microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on medium in short bursts, stirring often to avoid overheating. Let it cool before serving to your dog.