Owners of dogs have taken on a high responsibility. Man’s best friend does not only need a daily walk. There are many things to consider in regards to food as well. This article discusses the question whether you should soak dry food or not.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, since opinions of experts, dog owners and veterinarians diverge greatly, and every one does it in a different way according to their respective belief.
Advantages of dry food for your dog
Let us first look at the advantages of dry food. Dry food has a very low water content, which on the one hand means that you will have to watch weather your dog drinks enough water. On the other hand, your dog needs less food to ingest the sameV amount of energy. This means it is especially fit for dogs with weight problems. An additional advantage is that the intestine is not strained too strongly.
Additionally, dry food strengthens the dog’s jaw and is healthy for its teeth. Plaque is removed by chewing the croquettes, which leads to fewer dental problems among dogs that are being fed with dry food.
Not only the dog itself, you as an owner also profit by feeding dry food. It is easier to store and can be bought in larger amounts, results in less waste than canned food and is easy to ration as well.
Points in favor of soaking dry food
Many experts are convinced that soaking dry food is the right method in order to offer an optimal nutrition for your dog. It is especially important for dogs that do not drink a lot. They ingest most of their water through their food, so you as an owner need not worry any more.
Furthermore, soaked dry food does not swell up inside the dogs’ stomach, which avoids stomach pains and leads to a near impossibility of overfeeding. Some experts also believe that it also prevents twisting of the stomach, while others think the soaking has no bearing in this case. Still, the dog should have at least two hours of rest after feeding.
Softer food is also recommended for dogs with dental problems, which is often the case among seniors. The dogs often have difficulty in chewing harder food. They might even be in pain from it, which is not the case when feeding soaked dry food.
Your dog will be full faster. Many dogs do not feel satisfied after eating a small amount of dry food. If they eat the same amount of soaked dry food however, they will feel full faster.
Advantages at a glance:
- dog is full faster
- enough liquid is ingested while feeding
- ideal when suffering from dental problems – MAY prevent twisting of the stomach
- less stomach pain, since food does not swell up inside the stomach
Points against soaking dry food
Many owners as well as experts are opposing soaking food since many positive attributes of dry dog food are destroyed in the process.
It may happen that the amount of meat in the food, which is already lower than in your typical canned food, is lowered further. This is a side effect that is not to be underestimated.
Many dogs also refuse to eat soaked food, since it may result in a mush that does no longer resemble a typical dog food. The taste is also changed in the process and dry food, which already has a low intensity taste, loses even more of its intensity.
So why should you soak dry food at all? It is clearly visible that many positive attributes the dry food has been destroyed by soaking it. Nevertheless, some owners are convinced that it is the right decision and that their dog enjoys many advantages by doing so.
- many dogs do not like it
- percentage of meat is lowered
- dental plaque remains
- jaw muscles are not used much
- some food disintegrates while soaking
- loses taste
How is the dry food soaked?
Most owners use regular water with a slightly warm temperature. Depending on how you want the final texture to be, the food is soaked up to two hours before feeding so it can soften up properly. How fast the food gets soft is dependent on the brand, so you should take your time and try to find out the proper timing. Furthermore it is important to not disregard your dog’s taste, since most do not like their food completely soft.
Owners who want their dog to ingest enough water via the food often add the water only shortly before feeding so the croquettes stay relatively hard and the advantages of dry food are not destroyed.
Are there any alternatives?
There are of course multiple alternatives you can try. There is a possibility of feeding your dog a combination of dry and canned food. You can give it a ration of dry food in the morning and canned food in the evening or vice versa. This way it will enjoy the advantages of both and will ingest enough water.
Furthermore there are food brands especially produced for letting them soak. These products produce a tasty sauce when soaked. The croquettes themselves stay hard.
Not every food brand is fit for soaking. Cold pressed products do not swell up, so soaking would not help in making it softer at all.
Do not let yourself get confused and decide for yourself whether you should soak your dog’s dry food or not. However it is important to regularly offer it dental hygiene products if it is not fed with hard dry food. Many producers offer dental hygiene bones that remove dental plaque by chewing on them for this very reason.
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