Why Is Moisture In Pet Food Important?

by Sydney Hess

Dog next to water fountain outside

While dogs have adapted to dry food diets and drinking water from their bowls, is the moisture from their water dish enough? 

With warmer days approaching, keeping our pets hydrated is more important than ever. Proper hydration is a key foundation for health, affecting digestion, kidney function and temperature regulations. While dogs have adapted to dry food diets and drinking water from their bowls, is the moisture from their water dish enough? 

Many dogs, especially seniors who are less active, are not highly motivated to drink water from a bowl. Without supplemental hydration in their food, they are likely to be chronically dehydrated, which can strain their organs over time. So it can be essential to get creative in adding hydration back to their diet.

In addition to the obvious health benefits of keeping our pets hydrated, adding moisture to their meals can help them feel more satisfied after eating. Moisture adds "bulk" to their food, making them feel fuller. This is a less commonly known trick to helping dogs reach their fitness goals

The average hot-extruded kibble usually contains 10-12% crude moisture, while freeze-dried foods are even lower at about 3% crude moisture. In contrast, a dog’s ancestors likely ate fresh meat and vegetable scraps, which contained about 75-95% moisture. Although our dog’s ancestors may have not been eating perfectly nutritionally balanced meals, they were likely staying hydrated simply from the food they were eating. 

Feeding your pup a food that has a higher moisture content is a great place to start. Sundays for Dogs slowly air-dries the ingredients and does not preserve our food with extremely hot or cold temperatures. As a result, the moisture content is higher, at 15% crude moisture. However, if your dog is not motivated by their water bowl, adding extra moisture to their meals is still a good idea. Here are a few of our favorite liquid toppers: 

Bone Broth 

People often regard bone broth as a superfood for gut, skin, and joint health, and the benefits are the same for our pups! Bone broth contains amino acids, collagen, chondroitin, and glucosamine, all which contribute to the known health benefits. Bone broth can be easily made at home with bones and water, but it can also be purchased in a powder or liquid form for easy accessibility. Just ensure you buy dog specific bone broth as the majority of human designated broths will contain unsafe ingredients like onion. 

Goats Milk & Kefir

Goat’s milk contains less lactose than cow’s milk, making it a better option for pups that have dairy sensitivities. It is high in protein and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. Like bone broth, goat's milk is commonly available in powder and liquid form. Unlike bone broth, however, many of the human designated goat’s milk products are also pup-safe. Always pay attention and check the ingredients for added sugars and other unnecessary additives. 

Warm Water 

It doesn’t get any simpler or cheaper when it comes to liquid toppers! Warm water not only adds hydration to each meal, but will also bring out the flavor of your pup's food making it even more enticing. Adding hydration to your pup’s meals doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, it can be as simple as pouring a cup of warm (not hot) water to their bowl of food. 

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