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Like people, dogs lose water throughout the day, so it’s important they drink enough water or eat hydrating foods to prevent dehydration. Read on to discover how to help hydrate a dog by feeding a moisture-rich diet.

Hydrating Dog Foods

Ensuring your dog is always hydrated is key to keeping their body functioning properly. In the wild, a dog’s ancestors obtained the majority of their moisture intake from the prey they killed and ate. Domesticated dogs today, which are provided water with their food, may be lacking in proper hydration that is key in supporting overall health. Here are a few types of hydrating foods for dogs to help keep them healthy!

raw dog food for doodles

Raw Dog Food Diets

Feeding your dog a raw diet is a great way to incorporate moisture and keep them hydrated. Here are a few raw dog food options to consider:

Raw Frozen Dinner Patties & Dinner Morsels

These quick-thaw, grain-free, and high-protein meals are the most economical, biologically appropriate, raw nutrition available. Recipes contain 85-95% meat, organs, and bone to mirror a dog’s ancestral diet and provide over 70% moisture that is so important to your dog’s overall health. 

You have two frozen options to choose from– our Frozen Raw Dinner Patties or our Frozen Raw Dinner Morsels, both of which are available in a variety of recipes. These minimally-processed raw dog foods are gentle on the digestive system and enriched with probiotics and antioxidants to support whole-body health.

Freeze-Dried Meals, Mixers & Dinner Dust

Our freeze-dried raw dog foods are a convenient, shelf-stable alternative option to our frozen raw recipes. Our Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties and Lil’ Bites can be rehydrated with water or broth, and once they’re rehydrated, our freeze-dried raw dog foods provide approximately the same moisture content as frozen (around 70%) to help support proper hydration.

If you aren’t ready to feed an entirely raw diet just yet, we also offer Meal Mixers, Stella’s Solutions, and Marie’s Magical Dinner Dust as freeze-dried raw options to supplement your dog’s kibble. If your dog doesn’t drink much water, we recommend hydrating your dog’s kibble as well as any freeze-dried raw add-ins with water before serving!

wet dog food for corgis

Wet Dog Food Diets

Adding wet dog food to your dog’s diet will increase the amount of moisture he or she is getting from their food. You can transition your dog to a wet food diet or mix some wet food with kibble, depending on your dog’s preferences. From Stella’s Shredrs to Stella’s Stew, there are plenty of wet dog food options to help keep your pup hydrated!

Stella & Chewy’s wet dog food recipes range between 75% – 80% moisture. Wet food can also be helpful if you’re actively managing your dog’s weight, because the extra water content makes wet food more filling.

dog kibble with added bone broth

Bone Broth for Dogs

If your dog is a kibble fan through and through, no need to worry. There are plenty of ways to add moisture to a dog’s kibble, including bone broth! Stella & Chewy’s offers two different types of bone broth for dogs– our Bountiful Bone Broth and our Broth Toppers. Adding either of these hydrating broths to your dog’s kibble will increase their moisture intake while they scarf down their meal. Bone broth is a good source of electrolytes, which are essential for maintaining optimal hydration and energy levels. You can also use bone broth to rehydrate frozen or freeze-dried raw dog foods to add extra nutrition and flavor.

Different Ways to Make Dog Food More Hydrating

Both raw food and wet food can be incorporated into your current feeding routine, either as a topper, mixed 50:50 with kibble, or alternated as meals. A little extra moisture in every meal goes a long way to increasing your dog’s water intake!

No matter which type of hydrating dog food you’re serving, keep an eye on the time. Whether it’s hydrated kibble, frozen raw, rehydrated freeze dried raw or wet dog food, it should only sit out at room temperature for a maximum of 2 hours. Discard any uneaten food after that time. It might be a good idea to serve smaller portions when trying out new hydrating dog foods until you figure out what your dog likes.

Hydrating Human Foods for Dogs

There are also several moisture-rich human foods that are safe for dogs to eat, including:

Canned pumpkin purée – Pumpkin purée is rich in fiber and micronutrients, and has a whopping 94% moisture content, making it a very hydrating meal mixer! Just make sure you’re serving pure canned pumpkin without any salt or spices. Learn more about the benefits of pumpkin for dogs.

Goat milk – Using goat milk to hydrate kibble or frozen raw food adds extra protein and fat as well as hydration. Goat milk also contains natural probiotics for digestive support.

Almond milk – Almond milk is lower in calories than goat milk and a great source of vitamins A and E. If using almond milk to hydrate kibble or frozen raw dog food, make sure it’s unsweetened and unflavored.

Kefir – Kefir is a fermented drink that’s like yogurt in liquid form. Kefir is rich in calcium, B vitamins, protein and probiotics and can safely be used to hydrate dog food. Be sure to pick up the unflavored, unsweetened variety if feeding to your pup.

Coconut water – Coconut water is a good source of nutrients like vitamin C, iron, and calcium, along with other minerals. You can use coconut water to rehydrate dog food or to add a splash of flavor to your dog’s water bowl. Note that dogs taking prescription medications such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors should not be fed coconut water due to its high potassium levels.

Whenever you’re using human foods or beverages to hydrate dog food, make extra sure they’re the unflavored, unsweetened variety. Common sweeteners such as xylitol (and flavors such as cocoa) are among the human foods toxic to dogs.

golden retriever eating a dogsicle

Hydrating Summer Treats for Dogs

Strawberries, cucumber and seedless, rindless watermelon are great hydrating treats for dogs, as they each have more than 90% water content. Cantaloupe is another great option with 89% water content. On hot days you can serve frozen chunks of these moisture-rich fruits to help your dog cool down and replenish fluids.

You can also make frozen dog treats using coconut water or bone broth plus your dog’s favorite ingredients to give them a refreshing and hydrating treat on hot days. Check out these all-natural bone broth dog treat recipes you can make at home, and learn how to make pupsicles to treat your dog this summer. We also have Valentine’s Day dog treat recipes that include pupsicles with hydrating fruits!

More Dog Food From Stella & Chewy’s

At Stella & Chewy’s, we always want pets and pet parents to live happy and healthy lives. Learn more ways to keep your dog cool in summertime, and stay up-to-date on all things pet by checking out Our Blog: For the Pet Obsessed.

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