Most dogs love dry food. It is formulated for crunch and coated in flavors that tempt your pet into licking its bowl clean. If that is just what your dog is doing, you don’t need to add anything to its bowl to spruce it up unless you add some supplements or healthy veggies.
Many dogs eagerly eat the same dry food day after day, even multiple times a day, and experts say dogs don’t need variety in their food; in fact, consistency is best. However, when dogs become disinterested in their food and a vet has seen them ensure they are otherwise healthy, it’s time to make dry dog food more appealing. Luckily, there are many ways to do that.
Ways to Make Dry Dog Food More Appealing
Add Liquids like Water or Broth
Many dog owners prefer dry kibble because it is easy to measure and cheaper than wet food. The easiest way to make dry food more appealing is to moisten it by adding warm water. Use one tablespoonful of warm water at a time, sprinkle this liquid over the dry food, stir the entire food once to bring it from the bottom to the top, and add another tablespoon of liquid to moisten it evenly. Let this food sit for about 10 minutes to soften.
If your dog still doesn’t find the food appealing, try using chicken or beef broth, bone broth, or liquid from the homemade soup. Let the liquid come down to room temperature before using it because cold liquid does not soften dry kibble. Also, remember that the fluid you add does not contain a lot of fat or salt or dog-toxic ingredients like garlic, onions, or cocoa powder.
Add Canned Food or Stews
Another simple and affordable solution to get your dog to start eating its dry food is mixing in canned dog food or stews. Remember that picking high-quality cans and dry food is crucial to maintaining a balanced diet.
Several dogs like the taste and texture of wet food over dry. Kibble isn’t exactly natural to dogs, but feeding dogs only wet food can be more expensive. Mixing both types is a great way to give your dog what they want and still go easy on the budget. Like water or broth, adding wet food will increase your dog’s water intake. This helps with hydration and weight control since the extra water makes dogs feel full longer.
Keep the Kibble Fresh
Dry dog food, also called kibble, is convenient and often more affordable to feed your dog than other food types, partly because it’s easier to store and transport. But you have to ensure the kibble stays fresh by storing it in an airtight container in a proper location, like a pantry, closet, or garage.
Yogurt Can Help
Use plain yogurt as a topper for your dog’s kibble, and many dogs enjoy the flavor and moisture it offers. However, yogurt also has added digestive benefits, and also, be sure to use dog-safe yogurts. Consult your vet if you aren’t sure whether to feed yogurt to your dog.
Dogs Love Animal Products
Dogs love animal products to the core, and it is no secret. Due to this reason, it is the first ingredient in dry dog food recipes because meat protein is essential for dogs’ overall health, energy, and muscle growth. Dogs also find the taste, smell, and texture of meat very palatable.
Some animal products that you can mix into your dog’s food to make it more appealing are:
- Eggs: cooked or raw, are rich in protein.
- Fish: sardines or salmon are great resources of Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Muscle meat and poultry: lamb, beef, pork, chicken, venison, and turkey
- Organ meat: liver and kidney are high in phosphorus, vitamin A, copper, and selenium.
Add Vegetables and Fruits
Dogs are omnivores, meaning they need to get nutrition from meat and plants. However, adding certain vegetables and fruits to your dog’s diet (in moderation) can provide a source of essential vitamins and minerals, plus they add some extra taste, color, and texture to their routine dry food.
The critical factor is making sure the ingredients you add are as healthy, fresh, and unprocessed as possible. For example, instead of adding rice to your dog’s diet, which is a refined carb, mashed sweet potato is a good option.
Sprinkle Herbs Over Dry Food
Dogs have taste buds, and there are a lot of herbs that have nutritional qualities and are good for dogs! For example, rosemary has iron and fiber, peppermint helps digestion, and oregano contains antioxidants. If planning to use fresh herbs, rinse them and mince the leaves before adding them to your dog’s food. You can add dried herbs, but they won’t be as aromatic as fresh herbs and may have fewer health benefits. You can add 1⁄2 US tbsp (7.4 mL) of total seasonings to the dry food. Also, be sure not to use the following herbs in your dog’s diet: tea tree oil, comfrey, pennyroyal, white willow bark, ma huang (ephedra), wormwood, garlic, and yucca.
Depending on your dog’s needs, add additional supplements to your dog’s food. Supplements can add moisture and other advantages to your dog’s overall health.
Examples of supplements that you can add to kibble are coconut oil and fish oil.
Most dogs find coconut oil appealing, but keep in mind the extra fat content in your dog’s diet, especially if they already get peanut butter or cheese. So if your dog needs to put on some weight, a little coconut oil can help.
Fish oil is another healthy oil that you can add to your dog’s food to make it more enticing, with added benefits. Fish oil is an excellent source of Omega fatty acids, good for your dog’s skin and coat. In addition, you can buy a ready-made fish oil supplement with a rich taste that dogs love.
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Dry dog food is a food staple for dog lovers worldwide as they are easy to store, affordable, and can provide adequate nutrition with less work. On the other hand, dogs aren’t always tempted by dry foods. Proper storage, food quality, temperature, and timing makes the food appealing . Adding other ingredients to enrich the aroma and flavor may also help if all else fails.