How to Soften Dry Dog Food for Seniors & Dogs with Bad Teeth

Since it first came to the commercial market in 1860, dry dog food has been the go-to for dog owners around the globe. What's not to like about it? Most dogs have no problem gobbling the stuff up. Not only that, but it's affordable, easy to store, and can actually improve the quality of your pup's teeth.

But what happens when your dog is unable to chew kibble anymore?

softened dog food

As dogs get older, their teeth become more brittle and sensitive. This results in significant pain while chewing. The same can be said about dogs with dental issues, such as missing or cracked teeth.

Sure, you could make the switched to canned food. However, the price of canned food is significantly higher than kibble. When you consider the fact that canned food is not as nutritionally dense as dry food, you're looking at a notable increase in costs.

Instead of going for a full diet of canned food, you can moisten your dog's existing kibble.

Softening dry dog food allows your dog to take advantage of all of its nutritional benefits without the need for intense chewing on your dog's part. Here are a couple of ways that you can soften your pup's dry food.

Soften your Dog's Kibble by Adding Water

The easiest way to soften your dog's kibble is by adding some water. Kibble is naturally porous. When you add water to the mix, the kibble will slowly absorb it over time. As a result, the crunchy texture starts to break down into a soft mush.

After the water has been absorbed fully, you can serve it to your dog as is. The individual pieces will still hold their shape. However, they'll grow in size and won't take nearly as much force to break up in your dog's mouth.

Alternatively, you can smash it all with a fork. This creates a soft consistency that your dog can lick up.

How Much Water to Add to Dry Dog Food?

This all depends on your dog's needs. Kibble will soften from the outside in, allowing you to control the amount of crunch the food has. You can start out by adding only a few tablespoons of water and see how that works for your pooch. Just add more water to get the right level of softness.

If it needs to be moistened to a soft paste, the easiest method would be to add as much water as you did the kibble. A 1:1 ratio ensures that the kibble will be softened all the way through. Though, it does take some time.

* It's best to prepare this a few hours before dinner time to give the food plenty of time to absorb everything.

Using Warm Water

Turning dry food into wet paste is much easier if you use warm water. The process is sped up quite a bit, as the food has an easier time absorbing the water. Instead of waiting for hours, the process can be done in only a fraction of the time.

Plus, warm water has the added benefit of releasing flavor and aroma. The moment that you pour the warm water in, you'll notice a strong smell emanating from the bowl. This is great for older dogs with bad eyesight or pups that avoid eating due to dental pain.

The smell will have them salivating in no time. Just make sure that the food has enough time to cool down completely before you let your dog scarf it down.

Add a Boost of Flavor with Broth or Milk

Want to enhance the flavor of the food while softening it? Use milk or broth instead of water. A nice low-sodium broth is great for kicking the food up a notch.

Make sure to read the ingredients before you start moistening the food. Avoid broths with any harmful ingredients or unnecessary additives. All-natural chicken or beef broth is best.

To soften the food, just warm up the broth and add it to the kibble. Give the food some time to absorb the liquid and cool down before feeding it to your pup.

Milk is also a great option. Many dogs love milk just as much as cats do. Milk-softened kibble is actually a popular food option for breeders looking to feed newborn pups, so you shouldn't have any problems getting your dog to eat it.

Milk adds plenty of flavor and has the added benefit of vitamins and calcium.

Mixing Canned Food with Dry Food

Lastly, you can mix wet canned food with dry kibble to create a soft and delicious meal. Before you do this, consult with your vet first. It's important to use food that compliments your dog's dietary needs. 

Canned food is high in moisture and doesn't contain as much nutritional content, so you'll have to make some adjustments to keep things healthy.

All you have to do to moisten the food is mix the canned product in. Stick with the ratios that your vet recommends. The juices from the canned food should soften the kibble. If it doesn't provide enough moisture, you can add a few tablespoons of water as well.


With a bit of time and know-how, you can transform your dog's hard food into a soft meal that they will have no problem eating. You don't have to eliminate dry food from your dog's diet to get them to eat.

Whether you have a stubborn senior dog or a pooch that's experiencing dental problems, softened kibble may be the thing they need to get some relief and address their growling stomach.

Related Posts

Top 7 Best Dog Foods for Acid Reflux.. (dry & canned)

Easy DIY Sweet Potato Dog Chews (Homemade Recipe)

Top 5 Best Frozen Dog Food Brands

What to Feed a Pregnant Dog – Best Food Options for a Breeding Bitch

Bake-A-Bone Dog Treat Maker Review & 5 Example Recipes

Acana vs Orijen: What’s the Difference & Which is Best for your Dog?

Weight Loss In Older Dogs: 12 Causes and Solutions

Top 7 Best Dog Food picks for Pugs

Dog Coughs After Drinking Water: 4 Possible Reasons

Boiled Hamburger & Rice for Sick Dogs,.. (to stop diarrhea)

Are Pig Ears Good for Dogs? Pros & Cons

7 Best Anti Yeast Dog Foods: Top Picks to Combat Yeast Infections

Top 7 Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus: 5 dry & 2 wet options

DIY Instant Pot Dog Food: 5 Easy Recipes

7 Best Dog Foods Without Peas, Lentils, Legumes & Potatoes

Blue Buffalo vs Taste of the Wild Dog Food: Comparison of 2 Top Brands

77 Nutritious Ingredient Suggestions to make Sure Your Home Made Dog Food stays Balanced

4 Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats (without flour)

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Pancreatitis

Top 10 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Treats & Allergy-Free Snacks…

Top 5 High-Fiber Dog Foods to Support Healthy and Regular Digestion

Bully Sticks: What are They Made of… Product Lifespan & How to Store?

How to Make Chicken Bone Broth that’s Good & Safe for Dogs

5 Best Low Phosphorus Dog Food Brands, Over the Counter & on Prescription

Best Slow Feed Dog Bowls to Pace Speed Eaters & Prevent Gulping

Best Tasting Dog Foods for Picky Eaters, (5 delicious top picks)

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Beagles

Low Carb Dog Food: 7 Best Formulas

Orijen Dog Food Review: The 9 Popular Formulas

How to Get Your Dog to Drink (more ..) Water

7 Best Dog Water Dispensers to Keep Fido Hydrated

Homemade Grain-Free Dog Treats: 15 Curated Recipes from Around the Web

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Rottweilers

7 Easy Raw Dog Food Recipes you can Make at Home

Feeding your Dog a Raw Diet on a Budget (affordable & healthy)

Half Raw Half Kibble Diet … Is it Okay? (mixing dry dog food with raw meat)

What is the Best Dog Food for Huskies?

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Allergies (hypoallergenic foods)

What do Chihuahuas Like to Eat? (and what to avoid)

Are Elevated Dog Bowls any Good…? (Pros & Cons)

Can Dogs Eat Dates? Is it Safe.?

Raw Dog Food Diet,.. How Much to Feed per Day?

Best Inexpensive Dog Food (budget picks)

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Dobermans

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Chihuahuas

What Happens to a Dog Who Eats Table Scraps?

What is the Best Dog Food for Boxers?

How Big Will My Dog Get?

5 Best Dry Dog Foods for Dachshunds

Dog Food Brands Low in Sodium – 5 Healthy Picks for your Pooch

How to Fatten Up a Dog Safely

Can Dogs Eat Pizza? Just the Crust…?

5 Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers

Best Dog Food for Older – Senior Dogs, (dry & canned)

What Happens if a Dog Eats Gum?

High Calorie Dog Food – Best Options to Gain Weight

Best Dog Foods to Make Fido Poop Less

Too Many Dog Treats can Cause Diarrhea

Homemade Dog Food Recipes for Pitbulls

5 of the Best Dog Foods for Schnauzers

What’s the Best dog Food for Poodles?

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Diabetic Dogs

Best Dog Food for German Shepherds

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Great Danes

15 Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Eat

The Worst Dry Dog Foods… (7 Brands to Avoid)

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls

Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Shelties

How to Store Canned Wet Dog Food… (& how long does it last?)

Toxic Substances for Dogs & how to Protect your Pooch

When Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Expired or (old) Leftover Food?

Best Dog Food for Labradors

10 Healthy and Safe to Eat Spices for your Dog

What is the Best Dog Food for Border Collies?

What is the Best Dog Food for Fox Terriers?

What is the Best Dog Food for English Bulldogs?

Best Low Fat / Heart Healthy Food for Dogs

What is the Best Dog Food for Yorkies?

Can Dogs Eat Raw Eggs Without Getting Sick?

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below