Can puppies even eat dry kibble?
Yes, puppies can definitely eat dry food without water, especially if the puppy is already old enough for you to have welcomed it home into your family. We have a post on this subject here: When Can Puppies Eat Kibble? Answered!
Before they are 6-8 weeks, puppies may not yet be able to eat solid kibble. Their teeth (and coordination) are still developing prior to this, so they may not have the ability to chew and swallow solid foods – it’s a new concept for a puppy that has only ever nursed.
Thus, soaking kibble into a “puppy gruel” is often a technique breeders and others raising puppies use to help wean puppies onto solid food, rather than just milk from their mom.
If your puppy doesn’t like eating their kibble, then be sure to read our post Puppy Won’t Eat Kibble, Do This!
Why You Should Soak Your Puppy’s Food?
For around the first four weeks, puppies exist solely on their mother’s milk. By the end of their first month, growing puppies need more nutrients than they can get from milk alone.
Transitioning your puppy over to dog food is necessary for healthy growth and development, but there are challenges that go along with it. Puppies around four weeks of age are only starting to get their baby teeth. They cannot chew the crunchy kibble. You also have to figure out how to entice your puppy to start eating dog food, since they’re not used to it yet.
Soaking puppy food in water softens the kibble so you can easily break it down into a consistency your puppy can lap up. Adding water to the mashed kibble also creates a gravy that can entice reluctant puppies to try the new food.
Soaking your puppy’s food in warm water can make it even more enticing and gravy-like. It’s hard to entice a puppy to eat cold, mashed kibble.
There are no hard and fast rules about how to soak your pup’s food. But, don’t soak the puppy food for longer than thirty minutes. The kibble can start fermenting and it is not good for your dog’s health.
How much water do you soak kibble in?
Unless you add your own probiotics right before you feed. Hi, I just tried soaking several brands of kibble using 1/3 cup kibble to 1/2 cup water. I used hot water and let the kibble soak for about two hours. They all soaked up most of the water!