Should you add water to dry dog food?

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Written by Dr Andrew Miller MRCVSDr Andrew Miller MRCVS is an expert veterinary working in the field for over 10 years after graduating from Bristol University. Andy fact checks and writes for Pure Pet Food while also working as a full time veterinarian. Pure Pet FoodPure Pet Food are the experts in healthy dog food and healthy dogs featured in media outlets such as BBC, Good Housekeeping and The Telegraph. Working with high profile veterinary professionals and nutritionists, Pure Pet Food are changing dog food for the better. - Our editorial process

Adding water to your dog’s food can provide a whole host of benefits, from making the food more appetising to actually improving how well your pup can absorb the nutrients in the food.

We’re here to explain all those benefits and more, alongside answering the question of what type of dog food is the best for your dog. Each type of dog food has its benefits, to both person and pooch, but we’ll give you the lowdown on which provides the best nutrition for your dog.

Read on to find out all about serving up the best dog’s dinner for your pup to devour.

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Whatever type of food your dog eats, adding a few splashes of water before serving can have major benefits to your dog’s digestive health.

We’ll use kibble as an example. So, most mainstream kibbles are made through a process called extrusion, which is when the ingredients are put under harsh, extreme heats, dried and shaped into little brown balls and then often sprayed with animal fat to make them more appealing to your dog.

But the issue with this processing method is that the nutritional content in the food is seriously diminished as the nutrients can’t handle such high temperatures, along with the digestibility of the food being decreased. Kibble biscuits don’t break down easily in your dog’s tummy due to their firm structure, meaning that your dog will need to pull in extra moisture from the blood supply and tissues surrounding to help with digestion.

The absorbed moisture from your dog’s body is retained along the rest of the digestive tract, rather than being salvaged for reuse, resulting in stools that are way too high in moisture. This is the perfect environment for bacteria to emerge and subsequently decay, causing a super smelly poop that you won’t be best pleased to pick up. So, by just adding that moisture into the food before your pup eats it, you can make a huge difference.

A healthy poo is a sign of healthy digestion and good gut health, so if you often find yourself picking up poos that are the wrong consistency and colour with an incredibly pungent odour, it could be a sign that your dog isn’t digesting their food as they should be.

Alongside this, because of the food’s inability to break down due to lack of moisture, it means that your dog will struggle to absorb the few nutrients that were actually left in the food after the extrusion process.

So, if you are feeding a dry food such as kibble, adding a few splashes of water can make a dramatic difference to your dog’s digestive health, helping to break down the food which could also maybe even prevent bloat.

But although we think adding extra water to your dog’s kibble is a definite improvement on feeding it as it is, we think that there’s better stuff to be feeding your dog for much better nutrition all round.


We think that mealtimes should be the most exciting part of your dog’s day! However, those boring brown kibble biscuits might not be taking your pooch’s fancy anymore. After all, a burnt brown pellet that claims to be ‘chicken and veg’ flavoured doesn’t seem that appealing to the human eye, so why should our dogs be eating that?

Anyway, adding a bit of warm water to those kibble biscuits will release the aroma of the food, potentially enticing your dog to eat it again.

However, instead of trying to attract your dog to boring dinners that they don’t actually love, try serving up a delicious meal that they’ll be eager to gobble up!

At Pure, we finely chop our real, natural ingredients and then remove the moisture from them under a low, gentle heat. This naturally preserves the food and locks in the goodness. You just need to open up the bag, scoop out some of the dry food and add warm water to serve up a delicious, warm, wet food that your dog is just going to love.

Because of the unique, careful preparation method of Pure, it still maintains the convenience of dry food, but you’ll be able to spot the real ingredients it’s made up of, which still retain all their nutrients and flavour. This way, your dog can always enjoy a delicious meal that they’ll never turn their nose up to.

Hydration and urinary health

The extra splashes of water in your dog’s dinners can really help out to keep your dog’s urinary health working well, helping to prevent UTIs and reduce the risk of kidney stones. And extra water all round is great for keeping your dog’s hydration levels up which is never a bad thing, especially in the warmer months when your pooch needs to be lapping up as much water as possible to stay cool and hydrated.

And this is what makes Pure so great! To prepare our Pure recipes, we gently remove the moisture from our natural, nutritious ingredients to naturally preserve the food and lock in the goodness. And then to serve up, all you need to do is add that water back in!

This helps get some extra water into your pooch’s system, and you can add as much or as little water into Pure as you and your dog wish, you can just leave the food to stand for a little longer to soak up all the extra h2O. As a result, your four-legged friend will feel hydrated with every meal, which is great if you don’t think your dog drinks enough and it helps out with their overall urinary health.

Weight loss

Dry dog foods like kibble can often leave your dog feeling hungry, and this can lead to overfeeding and as a result, unwanted weight gain.

Adding some water to your dog’s dinners can help to increase the volume of their food, without racking up the calorie count which in turn helps your pooch feel satisfied and full. However, your dog should be eating dinners that are packed with all the good stuff to keep them full anyway.

Look for food that’s filled with meat, fruit and veggies, which all work to keep your dog’s tum full. With our tailored, healthy dog food, we only include the good stuff, nothing nasty that provides no nutritional value to bulk out the food. Just good, honest ingredients to keep your dog happy.

Prevents gulping

Greedy dogs (we’re looking at you Labradors!) often gobble down kibble biscuits so fast that they don’t even chew the pieces at all, so they enter the stomach whole and undigested. This can cause your pooch to regurgitate their food back up the same way it went down, which is not nice for your dog, you and of course, your lovely, plush carpet!

So, softening the food with water helps to slow mealtimes right down, preventing your pooch from gulping their food down whole. This helps massively with digestion.

With Pure, as you have to add water anyway before serving, it comes as a soft meal that your dog can eat slowly and actually enjoy, again helping them feel fuller, satisfied and the food will be digested properly.

But what about my dog’s dental health?

Adding water to any type of dog food of course softens it right down, and you might believe that dry, crunchy kibble helps to scrape the tartar and plaque from your dog’s teeth. However, this is simply just not true.

Many commercial kibbles are often super high in sugars, chemicals and simple carbs, which end up sticking to the teeth and forming a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque. Just as eating a crunchy, sugary biscuit wouldn’t clean our teeth, crunchy, sugary kibble won’t help your dog’s oral health at all.

The only real way to clean your dog’s pearly whites is to brush them yourself, as you’d clean your own teeth.

Is kibble (soaked or dry) actually good for dogs?

Although we do think that adding water to your dog’s kibble can make a huge improvement to how well your dog digests their food and absorbs nutrients, kibble might not be the best for your dog.

Kibble doesn’t offer your dog the best all-round nutrition, it might be complete and balanced, but it’s not the food that’ll help your dog thrive. It’s often processed beyond belief, making it difficult to digest and can contain low-quality ingredients that can have a negative effect on your dog’s physical and dental health.

Instead, we offer perfectly balanced nutrition that’s tailored to your dog’s needs, containing real meat, fruit and veg to keep your pup happy and healthy.

The just add water concept of Pure helps keep your dog’s meals easy to digest so they can get all the goodness out of every bite, helps with hydration and allows you to serve up a warm, tasty meal every single day that your dog is going to get excited for. It’ll leave their belly full and satisfied, keep their body healthy and keep that tail waggy.


Adding water to your dog’s dinners has a load of benefits for your four-legged family member, and it takes next to no effort on your end to splash some water into the bowl. All in all, it’s a win-win situation!