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Kibble hydration - why is it so NB?

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

We are all super busy pet-parents. Whether it’s work schedules, or family schedules or juggling both like the magic ninjas we are so we know that juggling meal prep and our pets is not always possible.

Much like our bodies, our pet’s bodies require fresh and honest food, which is not always achieved with standard commercial pet diets. While these diets are formulated for your pet, it is still a dehydrated diet – which means that it lacks moisture.

Dogs require a high percentage of their diets to be moisture (water) and this meant that when dogs were still eating biologically appropriate diets, they did not need to drink a huge amount of water every single day due to them having a moisture-rich diet.

In today’s commercially fed dogs (and cats), we see that they still drink too little water, so we are seeing unhappier kidneys and so bladder-related problems occur far more frequently, since the body’s filtration system can’t filter that well.

There is an easy fix to this though, offering a more moisture rich diet.

This can be a raw food diet or a hybrid diet or by enriching your pets current kibble diet.

Here are some benefits to adding water to your pet’s bowl of kibbles.

1.) Increases your pet’s daily water intake as most pets fed a commercial diet don’t drink enough water.

a. This is a great way to make sure that your pet is getting their water requirements for the day. Soaking their kibbles for a few minutes before giving them their food will allow the kibbles to absorb water. In reality, pets are not always taking in their required water content each day, so this helps ensure that is achieved as well.

2.) Ensures the kibbles are digested much easier than normal and is better for sensitive gut and digestion.

a. Kibble is an extruded product*, so it does not lend itself to breaking apart easily in the stomach and it can really irritate the digestive system, so adding water makes this much easier for your pet. By soaking the kibble, the water softens it, and eases the initial workload of the digestive enzymes, which may well be already struggling during illness or a period of recovery for your pet. If a dog or cat suffers from acid reflux or is prone to episodes of vomiting, soft food is also kinder on the esophagus which may be inflamed and irritated from the acid.

*Extrusion is a mechanical process in which certain materials are forced, under pressure, through a die opening to create products of a desired shape, size, and/or texture.

1.) Increases kidney and bladder health due to raised moisture content, which reduces risks of kidney disease and bladder crystals and stones from forming.

a. Increased moisture content in your pet's food can reduce the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections, and helps the kidneys eliminate waste through urine. By hydrating the food, it makes sure that the kibble is not pulling moisture from inside the pet’s body to pass through the digestive system, and instead it adds to higher moisture content within the body.

2.) If your dog is prone to bloat, this may help reduce it.

a. If your dog takes long drinks of water after a meal of dry kibble, the risk is always that bloat may occur. A tummy full of kibble with a bowl full of water on top of it, may actually increase risks of bloat. By soaking the food first, you add some moisture to the food but also ensure that your dog will eat slower (reducing the risk of bloat already) and it will aid in slowing down the rate of ingestion.

We think that these four reasons are four of the most important, but also know that your pet will benefit from a little water-soaked kibbles too. This is not radically changing their diet or cause an inconvenience to your routine or schedule – it will just help your pet in the long run!

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