Adding Water to Wet Dog Food - Dos and Don’ts

Adding Water to Wet Dog Food - Dos and Don’ts

Adding water to dog food might be more complex than it sounds. It can be beneficial but, at the same time, might jeopardize your dog's health. Dry dog food, also known as dry kibble, is more common among dog owners for several reasons. Although they are safer to use due to fewer carbohydrates and more water already added. Therefore, it will help if you start using water in your wet dog's food with the proper consultation of a professional veterinary.

Continue reading below to learn how it can help add water to wet dog food. 

Are There Any Downsides To Adding Water To Your Pet's Food?

There can be many downsides to adding water to your pet’s food. Before getting to that part, we strongly recommend consulting your veterinarian. Most pet foods are made by keeping different key factors in mind. Like, a pet’s lifestyle, health condition, or a specific life stage. 

It May Cause Diarrhea

Diarrhea is common among dogs and results due to different viruses or parasites. For most dogs, it’s safe to add some water to their wet food. However, adding too much unclean and dirty water to dog food can cause diarrhea. This is because the dog food already has some water; adding more water will leave it inside the dog’s stomach. 

This can create more bacteria, leading to more health issues. Furthermore, adding water to dog food can moisten the food and remove the food smell making your dog dislike it.

Food Wastage

Adding water to your dog’s food bowl may be beneficial if your dog doesn’t like drinking water. But it may also make your dog dislike it. 

Adding water too early before serving the food will create a paste-like food as water will moisten the feed too much. This will make your dog hate that food or even force the dog to dislike that food if repeated several times. Ultimately the whole food will go to wastage, and no pet owner would ever want that to happen.

Harmful To Kidneys

If you are using wet dog food, it already has water present in them. Therefore, adding more water will make the food moisten up too much. However, even if the dog eats that food, this will bring an excess of water to its kidneys. 

Ultimately, it will increase the risk of harming their kidneys when they cannot pass that excess water through urine. Therefore, avoid adding water or discuss it with a veterinarian before using it. 

Balancing the Proportions Level

In case you have decided to add water to your dog’s food. However, this may create different issues you may not be able to solve on your own. For instance, you would not know how much water to add. 

As discussed above, you may spoil the dog food if you add a lot of water. Similarly, adding less water can do the same. Next, you may not even know whether to add simple or warm water. Therefore, do not experiment with anything on your own to jeopardize your dog’s health. 

Dangerous For Health

Dog foods, either wet or dry, mostly have preservatives added to them that have different chemicals present in them. Adding water to their food can cause a reaction and make the dog food harmful. When dissolved in water, these preservatives can cause harmful effects like indigestion, coat and skin issues, Irregular movements, and more. 

All these health issues can ultimately leave a disastrous impact on your dog's health. There are a few preservatives that you must avoid for the safety of the dog's health.

Why Should I Mix Water Into Dry Dog Food?

As there are many dangers of adding water to your dog’s food, at the same time, it can be beneficial as well. Below are a few reasons to urge you to add water to your dog’s dry food.

Avoids Dehydration

Dogs also need water in their diet; however, wet dog food can easily fulfill this need. Although dry dog food naturally contains fresh meat with water, you may still need more than dry dog food to satisfy your dog's water needs. 

In addition, it can eventually lead to dehydration, as some dogs don't even like to drink water. Therefore, adding water to dry food can be a good idea to fulfill their essential living need. However, there are certain limits and precautions that you must keep in mind before proceeding further with this idea.

Helps against Indigestion

Pet owners of dogs suffering from gastrointestinal disorders can add water to their dry food. This addition will help against indigestion, the main culprit for most gastrointestinal conditions. 

However, these disorders may further lead to loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation in your dog if the condition worsens. Therefore, we advise you to consult your pet’s doctor first and add water to help your dog digest the food. 

Dental Wellness of Your Dog

Dry dog food normally feels hard, especially for puppies or old canines to chew. This is because they have weak jaws and are not too good at chewing hard, dry foods. So, to encourage them to eat dry food, you may add water or warm water too. 

Warm water can help soften the food for chewing and digesting it well. This would even help in protecting their gums from any possible future harm. However, it would be best if you only started using it once you knew how and when to use water.

May Entice Your Dog

Dogs sometimes get bored of eating the same food as us humans again and again. So, they have bad habits of not eating from their bowls unless lured in. When you add water to dry dog food, it releases a tempting aroma that is because the food elements break down. 

Therefore, to keep them attracted to their dry food bowl, you may add water to increase their mood by tempting them. Especially pups find it enticing to eat when they smell the beautiful aroma of their food. So, water does make a good effect when you add it to dry dog food.

Support for Puppies as A Soft Food

Your newborn is used to liquid form like milk as he develops and becomes mature to eat dry food. Transitioning from liquid to hard food might be challenging for them. Therefore, you must pay more attention to their food types to support their weaning period. 

It is necessary as the pup is at a developing stage and needs more care and attention than in those later stages.

Tips for Adding Water to Your Dog's Dry Food

As mentioned several times above, adding water to your dog’s food may not be as easy as you think. Before adding water to your diet or nutrition, you must consider many things. For instance, adding water to therapeutic pet foods might not be safe. These foods are mainly for specific conditions of canines and, therefore, might not require water addition. 

Below are some tips and tricks you can consider before adding water.

Use Clean and Filtered Water

Just like you prefer to drink clean and filtered water in your daily routine, make sure to use the same for your dog. These dogs do not have strong digestive systems to digest the diet. Therefore, tap or unclean water may cause harmful bacteria in their stomach. 

This can lead to many health concerns like diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. You don’t necessarily have to buy expensive mineral water bottles from supermarkets. Just simple and clean filtered water can do the job.

Use Less Water at the Beginning

As mentioned several times above, consult with a pet doctor before adding water. He may help you determine what type of water and the quantity you may add depending on your dog's condition or other factors.

However, if you are to still proceed on your own, start by adding lee water at the beginning. Monitor your dog's health due to this minor diet change to see if it has a negative or positive impact. Depending upon the outcomes, you may continue to increase or decrease the quantity after a little while.

Use Warm Water

Just like using warm water benefits a lot to us humans, the same can imply to your dog’s health as well. Compared to cold or normal water, warm water can help digest food more effectively. 

It gets absorbed much quicker and ultimately gives proper results compared to cold water. This will eventually urge your dog to stick with the same food for a long period rather than lose interest. Warm water has many other benefits for dogs besides aiding digestion. 

Adding Canned Food with Dry Pet Food

Mixing canned food with dry dog food can help to moisten the food and enhance its flavors. It can also allow you to buy various other foods that can easily fit your dog's taste. 

Additionally, canned dog food can help to provide the same nutrition needs to some extent that you can get from adding water. Therefore, consider using them instead for a while to see how the dog responds to them. However, canned foods will be more expensive than commercial dry dog foods because they offer more benefits comparatively.


Above, we have discussed in detail how this can help your canine health and what health issues you may face as consequences either way. Some pet owners prefer wet food over dry food as it already has some form of water. 

This helps fulfill your dog's water needs and prevents dehydration or other possible health issues. However, we still recommend discussing this with your pet's veterinarian. This can avoid much potential harm you may face upon proceeding without prior knowledge of this matter.

Explore More Pet Articles from Our Blog!

1 thought on “Adding Water to Wet Dog Food - Dos and Don’ts

Jodi Norton

I found this information about adding water to dog food concerning. My dog takes a supplement for his kidneys and is in prescription canned and dry food. I mix it all together with water so that it all mixes well but I’m left uneasy because the article leads you to believe you can harm your dog simply by adding fresh water to mix it. What is asking the vet gonna help? Is there some magic ratio book he’s privy to that you cannot share here? I wanna know how much water is in a can of $5 dog food already?

December 17, 2023 at 00:41am

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published