DIY Dry Dog Food
How to Make a Dog's Dry Food Tastier So He Will Eat It All
Feeding your dog dry food has so many advantages: it’s easy to store, it’s less expensive to buy, and it doesn’t spoil as quickly as wet food does. Also, dry food is better for your dog’s teeth and acts as a natural abrasive to dislodge gunk and bacteria. But dogs, just like humans, can be picky eaters, and they are sometimes resistant to eating the same dry food day after day. You can make dry dog food more appealing by changing the texture and adding different flavors without spending much extra money.
Short Video: How to Make a Dog's Dry Food Tastier So He Wil...
To make your dog's dry food tastier so it eats it all, add a tablespoon of low-sodium broth to the dry food right before you feed your dog. You can also try sprinkling herbs over your dog's dry food to make it more flavorful, like oregano, rosemary, and peppermint. Even just mixing some warm water into your dog's dry food can help make it softer and more palatable for your furry best friend.For more tips, like adding eggs or chopped vegetables to your dog's food, keep reading!
Adding Liquids to Make Dry Dog Food More Appealing
Mix wet and dry food to transition your dog to a dry diet.If you’re planning on changing your dog’s diet from wet food to primarily dry food, they will adapt faster if you mix the 2 kinds together rather than abruptly switching to only dry food. Check with your vet first to make sure your dog is ready, and then for the first week, mix 1/2 wet food with 1/2 dry food. For the second week, mix 1/4 wet food with 3/4 dry food. On the third week, offer your dog just dry food.
- The gradual change from dry to wet will be less noticeable to your dog.
- The dry food will also help to dislodge any wet food bits that get stuck in their teeth.
Add warm water to make dry food softer.Some dogs just don’t like the texture of dry food, or perhaps they have sensitive teeth and can’t bite down on the food without pain. Mix cup (59 mL) of warm water for every 1 cup (240 mL) of dry kibble to make it more palatable. You can either serve it right away as a kind of kibble soup, or you can let the water fully absorb into the dry food so it makes a kind of mash. It will take 3-5 minutes for the water to absorb fully, depending on the size of the kibble.
- Don’t leave softened food out for more than a few hours as it can spoil, just like wet food.
Pour a low-sodium broth over dry food to add more flavor.You can make a simple broth from chicken or beef or buy stock cubes to add to hot water. Make sure to buy low-sodium stock cubes! The fragrance from the stock will help make that dry food a little more appetizing to your dog. Don’t drown the food in gravy; rather, just add a large spoonful (about cup (30 mL)) over top of the dish.
- To make a simple broth yourself, put 1 whole cooked chicken, 2 chopped carrots, and 2 chopped potatoes into a pot and cover the ingredients with water. Cook on high until the water boils, then reduce to a simmer and let the broth cook for 2 hours. After that, remove it from the heat, let it cool, and remove the chicken and vegetables. You can store the broth in a glass container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- After you have made the broth, you can save the leftovers in the fridge to use every day when you feed your dog. You can use warm or cold broth on the food, though warm broth will smell more aromatic.
- Too much salt in a dog’s diet will strain their kidneys.
Adding Solid Mix-Ins and Seasonings to Dry Food
Add eggs to your dog’s food.Scrambled, hard-boiled, or over easy, eggs are a quick and easy way to add some more variety to your dog’s dry kibble (and they are good for your dog’s skin and coat). Eggs are high in protein and contain essential amino and fatty acids, and they can help settle upset stomachs. Don’t cook the eggs with any added salt or butter—plain is just fine for your canine friend!
- If you are adding a hard-boiled egg to your dog’s food, make sure to remove the eggshell first.
- An egg has around 70 calories, which is enough for a medium to large-sized dog. For a small dog, give them 1/2 an egg.
Mix chopped veggies or fruit into dry kibble.Carrots, green beans, apples, blueberries, or bananas are tasty options. Keep in mind that the bulk of your dog’s meal should be kibble. Aim to have your dog’s dish consist of 3/4 kibble and 1/4 add-ins. Cut any fruits or vegetables into bite-sized pieces and mix thoroughly with the kibble (don’t just sprinkle on top).
- Sweet potatoes are also great to give your dog, but they need to be washed, peeled, cooked, and unseasoned before you add them to dog food.
- In addition to tasting good, the different textures of the fruits or vegetables along with the kibble will make the food more interesting to your dog.
- Always check first to make sure a fruit or veggie isn’t toxic to your dog. You can look this information up online, or call your veterinarian.
Combine dry dog food and plain yogurt for a healthy gut.Choose non-fat, no sugar added yogurt and put a small dollop in with your dog’s kibble. Mix it up to coat the dog food to ensure your pup doesn’t just eat the yogurt off the top, avoiding the dry food underneath. For a small dog, using cup (59 mL) of yogurt should be fine, while for bigger dogs use cup (120 mL) of yogurt.
- Probiotics in yogurt will act differently in a canine gut. If you want to give your dog probiotics, give them ones meant for canines.
- If your dog can’t digest milk or has diarrhea after having milk, yogurt will cause a similar effect
Sprinkle herbs over dry food.Dogs have taste buds, and a lot of the herbs we use every day have healthy qualities that are good for dogs! For example, oregano contains antioxidants, rosemary has iron and fiber, and peppermint helps digestion. If using fresh herbs, rinse them and mince the leaves before adding to food. You can use dried herbs, but they won’t be as aromatic as fresh ones and may have fewer health benefits. Add US tbsp (7.4 mL) of total seasonings to the kibble.
- Don’t use the following herbs in your dog’s diet: pennyroyal, tea tree oil, comfrey, white willow bark, ma huang (ephedra), wormwood, yucca, and garlic.
QuestionMy dog is on a prescription kidney diet, but refuses to eat it. When I add other foods to make it more appealing, she just picks out the tasty bits. What can I do?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerTry warming the kidney diet to body temperature, because giving off a smell can make food more appealing. Also, try hand-feeding. Adding in a few mixed herbs can also make the diet more interesting. If this doesn't work, then let the vet know, because it could be a sign the dog feels nauseous. If health issues have been ruled out, then consider going back onto a regular food and reintroducing the renal diet in a slower and more staged way.Thanks!
QuestionIs adding 1 teaspoon of cottage cheese to food OK?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerRegular cottage cheese is generally safe for dogs, except for those that are lactose intolerant. Thus, if your dog can't drink milk because it gives him diarrhea, then avoid cottage cheese. Also, if your dog has special dietary needs (such as pancreatitis where he must avoid a high fat diet), speak to your vet before feeding.Thanks!
QuestionIs it safe to add tomato sauce to my dog's food?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerYou should avoid adding tomato sauce to your dog's food as it most likely contains other ingredients or additives (and more sodium) that your dog shouldn't have. Look into adding a dog-friendly broth to its food for some added flavor.Thanks!
QuestionDue to bladder stones my small dog requires his dry dog food to be moistened. Just using water has been unsuccessful. What could I add to get him to enjoy his food?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerTry adding low-sodium chicken or beef broth. This adds some more aroma and flavor to the dry kibble. Some pet stores also offer gravies that are specifically to add to dry dog food, though that option might get more expensive as time goes on.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do if my puppy is not eating after getting her shots?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerYour puppy might just have an upset stomach from the shots. You can try feeding her a hardboiled egg, as eggs help calm stomachs and the scent might be more appetizing than her dry food. If she is still not eating after a few days, call your vet to see if they want her to come in for another examination.Thanks!
QuestionIt started with upset tummy so I fed my dog chicken and rice. Now that's all she wants. I tried mixing it with kibble, but she picks it out. How do I get her to eat her regular food again?Jason.KellyCommunity AnswerPut some fish oil on the food and let it soak in a bit.Thanks!
QuestionWhat dog food should I be feeding my Chinese crested dog?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere is no brand of dog made for just one dog, but always check the labels and try to get dog food made just for small dog breeds.Thanks!
QuestionCan I add a little skimmed milk to dry food to add moisture?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you know your dog can digest milk, you can. However, some dogs cannot digest lactose, and milk will give them severe digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting.Thanks!
QuestionInstead of fish oil, can I add tuna or tuna juice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but it's best to use the tuna in water and not the tuna packaged in oil, as the oil that it is packaged in is not fish oil.Thanks!
QuestionHow can a dog be lactose intolerant if they drink milk as puppies?Matt ReddingCommunity AnswerThe milk they drink as puppies is from a mother dog. Cow milk causes them to have problems.Thanks!
You didn't mention adding small pieces of meat. Is that not a good idea to do occasionally?
Why does my dog choke after eating moistened dog food?
- Make sure the food you add to your dog’s dish is in bite-sized pieces to reduce the risk of choking.
- If your dog is still not eating its modified food after several days, take them to the vet. This could indicate a more serious issue or a dental problem.
- Don’t ever substitute broth or vegetables/fruit for dry dog food—the dry food contains other nutrients that your dog needs to stay healthy.
- Never add salt or butter to any ingredients in your dog’s food.
- Some dogs can have allergic reactions to foods or herbs that are normally safe. If your dog shows any of these signs, remove their food and take them to the vet: runny eyes and nose, sneezing, itching, swelling, diarrhea, or vomiting.
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