Should You Soak Dog Dry Food?

Anyone who owns a dog has taken on a very high level of responsibility towards their animal. That doesn’t just mean that man’s best friend needs to be exercised every day. There are also many things to consider when it comes to food. This article is all about whether or not you should soak your kibble.

When it comes to the question of whether dry food should be soaked, there is no right or wrong, because here the opinions of experts, dog owners, and veterinarians differ widely and everyone does it differently for different reasons.

The benefits of dry dog ​​food

First of all, let’s talk about the advantages of dry food. Dry food is very low in liquid, which means you, the owner, need to make sure he’s drinking enough water, but the dog needs less food to get the same amount of energy. This means that it is particularly beneficial for animals with weight problems and that it does not put too much strain on the digestive tract.

Another positive effect of dry food is the fact that it strengthens the dog’s jaw and is also healthy for the teeth. Dental plaque is worn away by chewing the kibble, so dogs that are fed dry food are less likely to have dental problems.

But not only the dog itself, but also you as the owner, of course, have your own advantages from dry dog ​​food. For example, it is easier to store and can be bought in larger quantities, it causes less waste than wet food and can be optimally dosed.

This speaks for the soaking of the dry food

Many experts are convinced that soaking dry food is the right way to provide your dog with optimal nutrition. It’s especially important for dogs that drink very little because you get a lot of the liquid with the food, so you as the owner don’t have to worry about this anymore.

Furthermore, the soaked dry food no longer swells up in the stomach, which means that the animals suffer less from stomach pains and are therefore virtually unable to overeat in the first place.

While some experts agree that this can prevent gastric torsion, others believe that soaking the food has no effect, but that the animal should always rest for at least two hours after eating.
For dogs with dental problems, as is often the case with seniors, for example, softer food is also recommended. These animals often have trouble chewing the hard parts or may even be in pain when doing so, which of course is no longer the case with soaked dry food.

The dog is full faster. Many dogs still don’t feel full after eating a small amount of dry food. If you now take the same amount of soaked dry food, additional liquid is absorbed, which means that the dog is full faster overall.

The advantages at a glance:

  • the dog is full faster;
  • the animal takes enough liquid when eating;
  • ideal for dental problems;
  • CAN prevent stomach torsion;
  • fewer stomach problems because the food no longer swells up in the stomach.

What speaks against soaking dry food?

However, many dog ​​owners and experts are clearly against soaking the food, as this would destroy many positive properties of the dry dog ​​food.

For example, it can happen that the meat content in the food is reduced again and since this is already lower in dry food than in typical wet food, this is of course a side effect that should not be underestimated.

Many dogs also refuse the soaked food because, at least if you let it soak longer, it is a mush that doesn’t have much in common with dog food. Because the taste is also changed and the food, which does not taste quite as intense anyway, continues to lose intensity.

So why soak the kibble? It is clear that soaking would destroy many of the positive properties of dry food. Nevertheless, some dog owners are sure that it is the right decision and that the animal can enjoy many advantages as a result.

  • many dogs don’t like it;
  • Percentage of meat decreases;
  • Plaque remains;
  • Jaw muscles are not stressed;
  • some food breaks down when soaked;
  • loses taste.

How is the dry food soaked?

Dog owners mainly use normal water with a slightly warm temperature. Depending on how the consistency is desired, the feed is now placed in water for a maximum of two hours before feeding so that it can soak in the peace and become soft. How quickly the food becomes soft depends on the food itself. It is therefore advisable to approach it slowly in order to find the perfect time for you. Furthermore, the taste of the animals must also be considered, because only a few dogs like it completely soft.

Owners who prepare the feeding so that the dog gets enough liquid often choose a shorter exposure time and usually add the water just before feeding so that the individual kibble stays nice and hard and the advantages of the dry food are not destroyed.

Are there alternatives?

Of course, there are also alternatives that you can use. There is an option to feed the dog both dry and wet food. So there is a portion of dry food in the morning and a portion of wet food in the evening or vice versa or at other times of the day.

In this case, your dog can enjoy both benefits and drink enough fluids.

There are also feeds that are specially made for soaking. With these products, the soaking creates a delicious sauce that is intended to provide variety. The croquettes themselves stay nice and hard.

What else you should know about the topic

Not every feed is suitable for soaking. Cold-pressed foods, for example, do not swell, so soaking the individual products would not, of course, cause the food to become soft.

Don’t be fooled, make your own decisions about whether or not to soak your dog’s dry food.

However, it is important to give your dog dental care products when they are not being fed hard dry food. Many different brand manufacturers offer special dental care bones that reliably remove plaque by chewing.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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