DRY DOG FOOD – ADD WATER
By Loren D. Lasher
For the past 5 years I have been adding water to my dog’s dry kibble. Letting it soak for 12-15 minutes before serving; I have found many benefits. For my older dog, who had been plagued with digestive problems, they have all been resolved. In my research, I have gotten some support and some conflicting ideas but I believe if you read on, you can make up your own mind. There are many, many benefits of soaking dry food. I share this information, not as an expert, but as a person with some experience wanting to add to your ‘perspective’ and the health of your dog and/or cat. Read this article, check with your Vet and make up your own mind.
First, dogs, cats and many animals were designed to eat foods which were 70%-90% moisture. Dry kibble is dehydrated to about 10% moisture. When a dog eats the dry food, the food is seeking moisture and robs the animal of important vital fluids and creates a situation of the dog being dehydrated and needing to rehydrate. With dry food both the stomach and intestines are upset. Important digestive fluids are taken up by the dry food in the stomach and in the intestines. Intestines are designed to get nutrition from moisture. Dry food prevents much absorption of nutriments in the intestine. When an animal eats the dry food and fills their stomach and afterward water is added, from drinking after eating, the stomach swells and may contribute to bloat. The dry food swells in size and robs the dog of important digestive fluids.
Do an experiment and decide for yourself. Take two cups and put about 1/3 cup of dry food in each cup. Keep one cup dry and to the other cup, add half of cup of warm water and let it set for 15 minutes. Compare and think about what is happening to your dog’s stomach.
There are many benefits to adding water and soaking. First, the dog becomes and stays hydrated. Second, it reduces bloating. Third, it is easier to chew and digest. Fourth, with a bit of ‘gravy’, it tastes better. Fifth, with warm water the ‘aroma’ is inviting. Dogs like good smells. Sixth, the dog will eat less food and be full. You can reduce the amount of dry food served. I feed my 90 pound lab 2 cups of kibble soaked; 1 cup morning and 1 cup night. Finally, with wet food, the dog will eat slower.
Some people might argue that eating dry food cleans the dog’s teeth. Not so! Most dogs do not chew enough with the dry food. If you want cleaner teeth, you have to clean their teeth. Some chew bones may help, but not kibble.
Bottom Line: Bringing dry food to higher moisture content will benefit the animal in many ways. They will be healthy and hydrated. Add equal or more water per kibble. One cup kibble, one and one half cup water (minimum), soak 12-15 minutes. For a little extra, you might add a bit of low salt broth.
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