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Making Dry Dog Food More Appealing: 7 Tips to Tempt Your Pooch

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Are you struggling to entice your furry companion to eat their dry dog food? You’re not alone. Many dog owners face this challenge at some point in their pet’s life. Dry dog food, also known as kibble, is popular due to its convenience, affordability, and long shelf life. However, some dogs may be picky eaters or have specific dietary requirements that make it challenging to keep them interested in dry food. If you’re looking for ways to make dry dog food more appealing, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore seven tips to tempt your pooch and ensure they enjoy their meals.

1. Adding Warm Water or Bone Broth

One simple and cost-effective way to make dry dog food more appetizing is by adding warm water or bone broth. By adding about ¼ to ½ cup of filtered water or broth to the kibble, you can enhance the aroma and texture of the food. Some dogs may prefer slightly moistened food, while others may enjoy the kibble after it has absorbed the water for an hour or so, creating a pate-like consistency. This method not only brings out the natural aroma of the food but also provides extra moisture to your dog’s diet, helping to keep them hydrated.

If you choose to add broth to your dog’s food, consider using bone broth. Bone broth is a nutrient-packed concoction that offers numerous health benefits for dogs. It promotes liver detoxification, aids digestion, helps with constipation and diarrhea, improves joint health, and enhances gut health. Additionally, bone broth is a rich source of essential minerals that are readily digestible by dogs.

2. Incorporating Canned Food or Stews

If water or broth alone isn’t enough to entice your dog to eat their dry food, consider mixing in canned dog food or stews. Many dogs prefer the taste and texture of wet food over dry kibble. By combining the two, you can provide a more palatable meal for your furry friend while still maintaining affordability. It’s important to choose high-quality cans and dry food to ensure a balanced diet for your dog.

When incorporating canned food or stews, you can adjust the ratio based on your dog’s preferences. Some dogs may prefer a small amount mixed in, while others may enjoy a more generous portion. Mixing wet food with dry kibble not only enhances the flavor but also increases your dog’s water intake, promoting hydration and helping them feel full for longer periods.

3. Adding Animal Products

Dogs are natural carnivores, and they often find the smell, taste, and texture of animal products highly appealing. Incorporating animal products into your dog’s dry food can significantly enhance its palatability. Some animal products you can consider adding to your dog’s diet include fish, eggs, muscle meat, poultry, and organ meat.

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Fish, such as sardines or salmon, is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which provide various health benefits for dogs. Eggs, whether cooked or raw, are a great protein source. Muscle meat and poultry, such as lamb, beef, venison, pork, chicken, and turkey, offer essential nutrients for your dog’s overall health and muscle development. Organ meats like liver and kidney are high in phosphorus, vitamin A, copper, and selenium.

When incorporating animal products, it’s crucial to consider your dog’s specific dietary needs, allergies, and any other health conditions. Start with healthy, human-grade ingredients and gradually introduce them into your dog’s diet to monitor their response.

4. Introducing Fruits and Vegetables

Dogs are omnivores, meaning they require a balance of meat and plant-based nutrition. Adding fruits and vegetables to your dog’s dry food can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and additional flavors. However, it’s essential to choose appropriate fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs to consume.

Some fruits that are safe for dogs include apples, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, cucumbers, mango, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon. When it comes to vegetables, options like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, green beans, peas, and spinach are generally well-tolerated by dogs.

When incorporating fruits and vegetables, moderation is key. These additions should complement your dog’s diet and not replace essential nutrients from animal products. Always opt for fresh and unprocessed ingredients to ensure the best nutritional value for your furry friend.

5. Enhancing with Toppers

Toppers are a fantastic way to enhance the palatability of dry dog food without needing to prepare a separate meal. Toppers are typically added on top of the dry food, providing additional flavors and textures. They can be in the form of wet food, freeze-dried meat, or even dehydrated fruits and vegetables.

One popular option for toppers is The Honest Kitchen, which offers a variety of wet toppers for dry dog food. Their Meat Protein Boosters and Pour Over stews made with pumpkin, bone broth, or superfoods are grain-free and made with high-quality ingredients. Stella and Chewy’s is another reputable brand that produces raw food toppers. These toppers provide a high percentage of meat products, probiotics, and vegetables, making them a convenient and healthy addition to your dog’s meal.

Toppers are an excellent way to incorporate whole foods into your dog’s diet, reducing the reliance on dry kibble while still maintaining balanced nutrition.

6. Supplementing with Food Supplements

Depending on your dog’s specific needs, you may consider adding food supplements to their dry food. Food supplements can provide added moisture and other health benefits to support your dog’s overall well-being.

One popular supplement is coconut oil, which most dogs find appealing. However, it’s essential to consider the additional fat content when adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet, especially if they already consume peanut butter or cheese. Coconut oil can be beneficial for dogs needing to gain weight or those requiring extra support for their skin and coat.

Fish oil is another excellent supplement that can enhance the palatability of dry dog food. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. You can either add fish oil directly to your dog’s food or opt for a ready-made fish oil supplement specifically formulated for dogs.

When incorporating supplements, consult with your veterinarian to ensure you’re choosing the right ones for your dog’s specific needs. They can guide you on appropriate dosage and any potential interactions with existing medications.

7. Exploring Semi-Home Prepared Meals

While fully home-cooked meals can be time-consuming and complex, semi-home prepared meals offer a middle ground to enhance the appeal of dry dog food. This approach involves starting with a grain-free dog food pre-mix and adding your choice of protein and water. By doing so, you can minimize potentially harmful ingredients in commercial food without requiring extensive cooking and preparation.

Dr. Harvey’s Veg-To-Bowl is a popular pre-mix option that allows you to customize your dog’s meal. It contains a variety of dehydrated vegetables and requires the addition of a protein source and water. This method is particularly beneficial for dogs with allergies or those who struggle to eat traditional dry food.

Remember to consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist when incorporating semi-home prepared meals into your dog’s diet. They can provide guidance on appropriate portion sizes and ensure your dog’s nutritional needs are being met.


Encouraging your dog to eat their dry food can be a challenging task, but with these seven tips, you can make it more enjoyable for them. Experiment with adding warm water or bone broth, incorporating canned food or stews, introducing animal products, incorporating fruits and vegetables, enhancing with toppers, supplementing with food supplements, and exploring semi-home prepared meals. Each dog is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find the method that works best for your furry friend. Remember to prioritize their nutritional needs and consult with a veterinarian when making significant changes to their diet. With a little creativity and patience, you can make dry dog food more appealing and ensure your dog enjoys their meals.

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