Can Adding Water To Dry Dog Food Cause Diarrhea

Can Adding Water To Dry Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Here are three reasons why dog food can cause diarrhea when water is added. You have a contaminated bowl, contaminated water, or contaminated food.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Adding Water To Dry Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?“.

It is not uncommon for dogs to go through bouts of diarrhea even if they eat a high-quality diet. 

Can Adding Water To Dry Dog Food Cause Diarrhea

It will be discussed in this article whether adding water to dry dog food can cause diarrhea in dogs.

It is important to consider this when moistening dry food for your dog or if you have already done this and now your dog suffers from loose stools as a result.

Are there any studies demonstrating that adding water to dry food leads to diarrhea?

There is no evidence that adding water to your dogs food will cause loose stools automatically.

These risks can however be increased in some situations by adding water to dog food.

The following are some of the things you will learn from this article:

Three reasons why adding water to dog food causes diarrhea

The following are the main reasons why adding water to dog food may lead to diarrhea:

The bowl is contaminated

Infection caused by bacteria or mold on dog food is one of the most common causes of canine diarrhea. Your pets bowl usually contains bacteria from saliva feces and urine that fall into it when he drinks or eats from it.

In dog food the following germs can be found:

  • Salmonella: Symptoms include bloody diarrhea with mucus and blood-tinged mucus. There is also a possibility that some dogs will have a fever vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
  • Campylobacter: A dog with campylobacter will have bloody stools mixed with mucus and sometimes pus.

The water is contaminated

Contamination of water can be caused by a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common:

There is a possibility that the pathogens that may be present in your pets litter box or another animals food bowl may get onto your dogs bowl and cause illness. 

Water dishes that are not cleaned regularly can become contaminated with chemicals from rain snow and fog. 

What was the quality of the water? Can you tell me if your water has chlorine in it? There is a possibility that it can cause diarrhea in dogs. Try using bottled water if you suspect this is the case.

The food is contaminated

While dry dog food is less susceptible to spoilage than moist dog food it can still become contaminated. You can keep dry dog food safe and unspoiled if you buy it in bulk and store it properly.

In large quantities of dry dog food stored for long periods of time moisture from the air can lead to mold growth. When left undisturbed for long periods of time even small amounts of moisture can cause spoilage.

Now that we have looked at the scenarios in which diarrhea is more likely to occur lets consider the benefits of adding water. 

Five benefits of soaking (dried) dog food

It is beneficial to soak dried dog food for a variety of reasons. You can do this with any commercially available dry dog food including kibble and canned food. The following are the benefits:

During the weaning phase

When weaning or switching to a new type of food you must mix the new food with the old. Make it easier for your dog to chew and digest both types of food at once by soaking them together for 10 minutes before feeding.

If your dog has dental problems

It is possible to reduce plaque build-up and tartar formation by soaking dried food. Water helps wash away food particles that might otherwise get stuck in your teeth or gums.

Prevent digestive problems

You can prevent digestive problems such as diarrhea and constipation by soaking the dry food in water until it becomes soft. By removing bacteria from the kibble you will increase its nutritional value make it easier to digest and reduce the risk of tooth decay or gum disease.

You can use this method to help your dog manage digestive problems such as diarrhea and constipation by soaking dry kibble in warm water before feeding it.

If your dog is at risk of bloat

When your dog eats too quickly he may experience bloat because dried kibble expands in his stomach. The kibble can be soaked if your veterinarian warns you that your dog is at risk of bloat.

If your dog needs to drink more

There are some dogs that are born with a lower thirst drive than others. Soaking your dogs kibble will help them drink more water if they do not drink enough. The reason is that when water is added to dry food it becomes less dense and easier to swallow for dogs. The process of soaking also releases some nutrients in the food allowing them to be better absorbed and encouraging them to drink more water as a result.

What type of dog should eat dog food that has water added to it?

Some dogs are better suited to eating moistened food than others but most can eat moistened food. It may be necessary to moisten food for dogs who suffer from tooth problems for example.

A moistened food may also benefit a sick or elderly dog because it makes eating and digesting easier.

Ensure that moistened food is not too wet before giving it to your dog. The ratio of dry food to the water (by volume) should be one part dry food to three parts water.

How long should you soak dog food?

It is recommended that you soak your dogs food for at least ten minutes. Your dog will be able to digest the food more easily when it softens. If you soak the food for an extended period of time more water will be absorbed into the kibble.

Should I add warm water to dog food?

It is a good idea to add warm water. Water should be warm when used. Your dog will be able to digest kibble better when it is softened with warm water.

Warm water makes dry food easier to swallow and more palatable to older dogs whose sense of taste has waned.

A big part of the appeal of meaty foods is the smell. Hence warming their food with water makes sense.

A drinking bowl can substitute for a pet fountain if you do not have one.

Can I add chicken broth to dry dog food?

The answer is yes! For picky eaters you can add broth to dry dog food to make it more delicious. By adding moisture to the food your dog will stay hydrated and get more nutrients.

How else can dry dog food be made more appealing?

A variety of meats vegetables and other ingredients can be added to dry dog food to make it more appealing to dogs. Meat byproducts and meat meals are the most common ways to improve the taste of dry dog food. You can find these ingredients in many different forms: beef chicken pork lamb fish cheese etc.

Dry dog food can also be made more appealing by adding artificial flavors and colors which are not as healthy as natural flavorings but make the food more appealing to your pet.

Making dry food more appealing for your dog is as simple as adding a simple low-sodium chicken broth to it. When your dog laps the broth off the top of their food they will get a taste of moisture and flavor that their dry food may lack.

Four main causes of diarrhea in dogs?

There are several reasons why dogs get diarrhea. The following are some of the main triggers:


Diarrhea can be caused by parasites such as giardia coccidia and roundworms and the most common symptom is a loose watery stool that contains mucus or blood. You should treat your dogs parasites early so they do not become chronic if they are exposed to these parasites.


The carcasses of dead animals are at risk of being scavenged and eaten by dogs living near or on farms. A disease like rabies or distemper could cause illness if the dead animal died from that disease.

Changes in diet

It is also possible to cause diarrhea in your dog by changing its diet. It is possible for dogs with allergies and food intolerances to develop diarrhea when they eat foods they are allergic to. In addition to chicken beef lamb and dairy products are the most common allergens.

Toxic exposure

There are many toxic substances that can cause vomiting and diarrhea including insecticides antifreeze and lead.

What are the alternatives to soaking dog food?

It is possible to make processed food more digestible and palatable by using a variety of methods.

Dog food that has been soaked in milk is another alternative. Dogs benefit from milks calcium content which promotes healthy teeth and bones. It also provides protein and nutrients that keep them healthy.

The casein protein in milk the same type in cheese aids digestion and absorption of vitamins including vitamin E which makes kibble easier to soften.

The combination of canned food and dry kibble is another method. Canned food can either be added directly to a bowl or mixed with water in a separate container before being added to their regular diet.

Pet owners who believe fresh meat improves their dogs’ overall health and well-being prefer to mix canned food with fresh meat instead of using canned food alone.

It is also possible to improve the taste and texture of dry kibble by adding some wet ingredients such as chicken stock or gravy. In dogs with sensitive stomachs supplements such as probiotics or digestive enzymes can help promote healthy digestion.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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