How to make dry dog food more appealing to your dog

How to make dry dog food more appealing to your dog

Food & Nutrition

There are a great many good reasons to feed dry dog food to your dog, either as their only source of food or in combination with additional portions of wet food. Dry food tends to be cheaper than wet food like for like, as well as providing less mess, needing less storage space, and having a range of dental benefits for your dog too. However, dogs do almost unanimously find the taste, aroma and texture of wet foods more appetising, and sometimes, you may find that you need to encourage your dog to eat their dry kibble meals, particularly if you are changing brands or moving your dog over from a wet diet to a dry one.

In this article, we will look at some of the ways in which you can make your dog’s dry meals more appealing to them, and encourage them to eat their kibble with gusto.

Feed a high quality food

Just because your dog does not seem overly keen on one particular type or brand of dry food doesn’t mean that they will feel that way about all of them, so you may have to try a few different brands before you find one that your dog will stick with. High quality, complete dry foods are much richer in tasty proteins than their lower quality alternatives, which are often bulked out with grains and may be high in sugar or salts.

Feed a good quality food, and make any changes between brands gradually, to allow your dog to get used to the taste and texture of the new food.

Store dry food properly

There is a lot to be said for buying dry food in bulk or in large bags, as this almost always works out more economical than buying lots of smaller bags. But as with any other foodstuff, once opened, a bag of dry kibble will go stale, and once this has happened, it will lose a lot of the taste and aroma that makes it appealing to your dog. None of us enjoy eating stale food either, after all!

If you do buy large bags of dog food, it is important that once they are opened, you store them in airtight containers, and use a range of smaller containers to hold the food so that the bulk of the bag, which you might not use for some time, remains fresh.

Add some taste

There are a huge range of different food products that you can mix in or add to your dog’s kibble to make it more appetising to them, either by changing the smell, texture or taste of the kibble itself.

If your dog is not overly keen on eating their kibble on its own, try some of these suggestions:

  • Mix warm water into the kibble to soften up the hard chunks and change the texture to make it more palatable to your dog. You can then either serve it right away as a kind of kibble and water soup, or wait until it has fully softened and mash it into a paste. Either way, once you have added water, you should treat the meal as you would wet food, and not leave it out uneaten for more than a couple of hours, as it may spoil.
  • Make a gravy for the kibble by mixing a small amount of a very aromatic wet dog food with water, and mixing it into a thin liquid. Pour it over the kibble, and see if the change in texture and the hint of the wet meal provides an inducement for your dog.
  • Add a basic broth to the dish by making up a very simple stock such as chicken or beef, steering clear of course of stock cubes that are high in salt. The fragrant broth mixed into the kibble might be sufficient to appeal to your dog. You can also use water from drained tuna or other stinky foods that dogs like to pour over the top of the kibble, and give it a little extra oomph.
  • You can, of course, mix your dog’s wet food (if given) in with their kibble, particularly if you are trying to change your dog from a wet diet to a dry one. Start off with a relatively high ratio of wet to dry food, and gradually phase the wet food out over time until your dog is left with their kibble alone, or just a tiny amount of wet food to give their appetite an extra inducement.
  • A little diced boiled chicken with no additives proves very enticing to most dogs, so mix some of this into their kibble thoroughly to encourage them to eat. Do not just garnish the top of the kibble with the chicken, or you may simply find that your dog picks off the good bits and leaves the rest!
  • Live (plain) yoghurts and probiotics are not only delicious to most dogs but also good for them, so putting a little yoghurt or yoghurt drink into their food can help too.
  • A little plain scrambled or chopped boiled egg is often appealing to dogs too, so try this if they are still reluctant to eat their kibble on its own.


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