10 Reasons To Add Water To Dog Kibble

  • By: Andrew
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Dog kibble is dry dog food. Kibble is made via a process of extrusion, whereby different types of ingredients, such as legumes, meat, vegetables, and all other nutritional foods for dogs, are grounded and shaped into pallets. We typically feed kibble to our dogs as it is, so why add water to it?

Water is added to dog kibble because it increases their digestion by promoting moisture intake. It also allows them to drink more water, which prevents long-term dehydration symptoms. Some owners add water to dog kibble because it enhances its aroma by breaking down the ingredients.

In this article, I will expound more on why you should add water to dry dog food, including health benefits and water consumption. I will also discuss important factors any dog owner should consider when adding water to dry dog food.

Prevent Gulping

Gulping is the process of swallowing large amounts of food simultaneously. It might be a disorder in some dogs. For others, it is just a habit that they have. It might also be because of hunger, as they get excited about the presence of food. When dogs swallow big chunks of food simultaneously, it becomes hard for the digestive system to break down the food. This may even lead the dog to vomit all the food after hurriedly swallowing it.

Adding water to dry dog food can solve gulping. That’s because water makes the food moist, making it difficult for the canine to swallow the food in large chunks. And because the food will have become soft, even swallowing without chewing will not be a problem for the food’s digestion and absorption.

Essential During the Weaning Phase of a Puppy

When a puppy is born, it only feeds on its mother’s milk. With time, as it grows, you will be required to introduce another type of food. Dry food will be too much work for the puppy because it was used to feeding on milk, which is in liquid form.

Thus, extra care is required when choosing the type of meal to feed your puppy during the weaning phase. It is important to note that the puppy’s jaws and digestive system are not yet strong enough to handle food that requires a lot of energy to chew, swallow, and be digested.

For Your Dog’s Urinary Health

It can sometimes be challenging for some dogs to drink water even if it’s already in their bowl. This makes them prone to urinary tract problems and even at the risk of suffering from kidney stones.

The kidney acts as a body filter that filters all the toxic waste materials and allows all the important nutrients into the bloodstream. Fluids help wash away and eliminate the filtered toxic substances from the kidney, resulting in urine.

The addition of water to your dog’s kibble will be a win-win since you will be feeding it its meal and drink at the same time, especially for the dogs who do not fancy drinking water.

It Assists in Weight Loss

It is paramount to note that this only applies to dogs who have gained weight from overeating. This is important because there are other reasons why your pooch might be overweight apart from eating a lot more than they are supposed to. The following are some of those reasons why:

When a canine is overweight, it increases its chances of suffering from chronic diseases, leading to its demise if not resolved quickly. Due to the soggy nature that the dog’s kibble will have when water is added, your puppy will get full quicker compared to when you are feeding it dry food, hence lessening your pup’s tendency to overeat.

Boost Your Dogs’ Eating Morale

Some dogs have very poor eating habits due to several reasons, so without luring them to their bowls where the food is, they will not eat. When water is added to dry dog kibble, as mentioned earlier, it releases a mouth-watering aroma, which pups find irresistible.

When dry food breaks down, each of the ingredients releases its scent. For example, chicken-flavored dog food will become much more appetizing by producing a chicken aroma throughout the bowl. This mouth-watering process makes your dog much more likely to each, which can be a significant benefit if your pup doesn’t prefer dry food.

For Your Pup’s Dental Health

Young and senior dogs have the most fragile dental structure. This results from their weak jaws due to underdevelopment for young dogs and old age for the senior dogs.

When you soften the dry dog food with water, it will be easier for the dogs to chew and swallow the food. This will prevent their fragile gums from being damaged and any further injury.

For Their Good Digestive Health

Dogs, like any other living organism, are prone to illnesses. Digestive diseases can be acquired through bad feeding behavior. Therefore, you must be careful about what you feed your dog. Those who are already ailing should be fed very soft and healthy food to aid their recovery.

Adding water to your dog kibble does the trick, as the dry food will be moist and easily absorbed into the digestive system.

The following are some examples of common digestive dog diseases.

Acid Reflux

This is one of the most common digestive tract diseases. It is caused when intestinal and gastric juices come up from the intestines and stomach to the food pipe, damaging the lining of the esophagus. On this account, soft food is easier to pass down the irritated esophagus without causing further damage.


Bloat occurs when your dog’s stomach accumulates a lot of gas, mainly caused by consuming a dry food diet hurriedly. The signs of bloating include abdominal pain and swelling, discomfort, restlessness, and excessive drooling. It can be prevented by feeding your dog smaller and softer meals as frequently as possible throughout the day instead of one or two bulky and dry meals.

Cancer of the Digestive Tract

There is no specific cause for cancerous tumors to develop in your dog. The signs and symptoms include bloody diarrhea, lack of appetite, and bloody vomiting that causes the dog to whimper due to pain.

When you notice these signs, it is important to visit a veterinarian. The vet will run some tests and identify where the cancer is on the digestive tract. If the cancer is not widely spread, it can be surgically eliminated. In cases where the cancer has widely spread, the vet cannot do anything but give pain medication.

This will mean that the dog cannot eat anything hard to chew, swallow, or even digest. Its digestive tract is already sore, so choosing soft food is the way to go.


Constipation happens when your dog has difficulty in eliminating stool from its system. This can be easily cured, even though there is a type of constipation called obstipation constipation, which might resist treatment. It is important to understand that when your dog suffers from constipation, you need to feed it with a lot of fluids and foods rich in fiber.

It is evident that all these digestive tract diseases have one thing in common: they all require that you feed your dog soft food rich in nutrients. Thus, when dealing with dry dog food, you should soak it with water to soften it up. This will keep your dog healthy while preventing their chances of suffering from these diseases.

Other digestive tract diseases include:

  • Malabsorption
  • Inflammatory blood disease
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers

Help Disguise Medicines and Supplements

Dogs become stubborn when it comes to taking their medication and supplements because of their smell and taste. Therefore, it is advisable that when you want to give your furry friend any medication, instead of putting up a struggle and end up not administering the supplement, you should add them to their meals.

When water is added to the combination of the supplement or medicine and the dog kibble, it will lure them into taking them without their knowledge. This is because water unmasks the flavor in the dog kibble, and the dog will enjoy the meal without suspecting the presence of the medicine. For instance, if you’re trying to give your dog CBD (cannabidiol), but it refuses to due to its unpleasant flavor, it is advisable to follow this tip.

Increase Hydration

Clean water is one of the most important nutrients for a dog’s body to function properly. It is also the best medium to wash away the dog’s metabolic waste.

Water also acts as a coolant when the temperatures are high, helping dogs avoid discomfort. Another importance of water added to kibble is that it aids in the secretion of enzymes and acid necessary to the digestive system.

Changing From One Pet Food to Another

Sometimes, when you want to switch up your dog meals, you may notice some resistance from your dog. This may lead to the dog completely rejecting the food because you did not properly introduce it. So, it is advisable to soak the newly introduced dry food with water to help disguise it. Besides, the digestive system gently embraces the change in nutrients.

Here are some of the reasons why it is important to switch up your dog’s meal from time to time:

  • To prevent nutrient toxicity when you keep feeding your dog food with the same nutrients.
  • For deficiency purposes of your pooch.
  • To prevent your pup from being stubborn, wanting only one kind of meal.
  • To prevent boredom from eating the same meal.

Factors To Consider When Adding Water to Dog Kibble

Here are some important factors to consider when adding water to dry dog food:

  • The climate. During summer, your furry best friend will want to take in more water due to the high temperatures. This means that during this season, frequent feeding of water added to kibble will come in handy. You can preferably add small amounts to the dog kibble but for four to five times a day.
  • Amount of dog kibble served. The ratio of water should be slightly lower than that of the dogs’ kibble, so you have to be careful visually. For example, you can add half a cup of water to a cup of dog kibble. Remember, the goal is to moisten the food, not drown it in water.
  • Your dog’s preferences. Every dog has its preferences on the form they like their food in. Some will love their food soggy, while others will prefer it just moist. To understand their preference, add just enough water at first and continue to increase it as days go by.
  • The temperature of the water. The colder the water, the slower it will soften the dog’s kibble, so just use lukewarm water. Do not also leave the kibble for too long before your dog feeds on it after you have added water.

A Disadvantage of Adding Water To Kibble

Soaked dry food tends to spoil very quickly compared to when the kibble is served as it is. It is, therefore, wise to check your dog’s bowl after it is done eating. Leaving the food there for over 48 hours will be toxic to the dog once it feeds on it. You have an option of either disposing of the leftovers or storing them in the fridge for the next meal.


By now, it is obvious that there are more advantages and reasons to add water to your dog’s kibble. The importance of this post is to help you make your dog’s food enticing and make it helpful to its digestive system.