In addition to the title question “When To Stop Soaking Puppy Food?” this blog will discuss if you should soak your puppy’s dry food at all. Moving forward we also cover the age bracket to start and stop, why to soak the dry food, and how to do it properly.
Your puppy’s nutritional habits are critical to his or her health. Therefore, you must understand the full scope of including dry food in the puppy’s diet. Please note, the soaking only applies to dry food. Wet food must NOT be soaked.
We all want our puppies to live a long and healthy life. This blog will provide information to help that happen. In that vein, please read this post until the very end.
Should You Soak Puppy Dry Food At All? Or Stop Soaking Puppy Food
According to experts, the answer is yes. A puppy should start to be weaned from mother’s milk at around four weeks old. A lot of people wait until the puppy is six weeks old. At that time meat may be introduced slowly.
It is also around this age that a puppy is started on dry solid food, but only when soaked properly first. There are several good reasons for this, which shall be explained now.
Why Soak a Puppy’s Dry Food?
The most significant reason is that it is easier on the digestive system. When the food is correctly soaked, it becomes much softer. That way, the enzymes within the digestive system need not work as hard. This is far healthier for your puppy.
Another valid point is, softer dry food is better for a puppy’s mouth. At three or four weeks of age, its teeth are starting to come in. Soft food does not harm the gums or new teeth, yet it still benefits from the nutritional value of dry food. The answer is to soak the dry food.
A reason you might not think of is that more water intake from the soaked food is good for your puppy. He or she needs to stay hydrated. The more water that enters its system, the better.
Is It Better Not to Feed Your Puppy Dry Food At All?
The answer to this question is a resounding NO. At any age, your puppy or fully grown dog has to be provided with a balanced diet.
Although meat is also vital, it is best to include some dry food. This is true even when your dog is still a small puppy. It is critical to the puppy’s overall medical and dental health.
Treats like dental sticks and dry dog biscuits can also be given to your dog. If it is a puppy, the dental sticks can be small and the dog biscuits can be moistened.
Other Purposes of Dry Food in Their Diet
When dry food is introduced, the puppy learns to thoroughly chew it before swallowing. Then he or she applies this knowledge to meats. These actions are beneficial to the digestive system. It also serves to prevent the animal from choking.
While your puppy is still very young, the dry food alone is too difficult for it to chew. This is the reason for soaking it in water. Your puppy will be encouraged to eat when the food is soft and tasty. Be sure to select a flavorful type.
Feeding Your Puppy Dry Food
A well-balanced diet is best for your dog at any age. Meat ought to be served regularly. Nutritious dry kibble can be given including dental health bones. Of course, dry food as a staple is necessary.
I do want to reiterate that a dog must NOT be given a dry food-only diet that is devoid of meat. That is not healthy at all, even though many people do this. This type of diet can lead to kidney problems and a short lifespan. Balance is the key.
Start With Special Puppy Dry Food
Any veterinarian will tell you this. Serving a puppy large morsels of dry food is horrible. These chunks are too big for his or her incoming teeth. Worse yet, your puppy could choke on them.
There is dry food crafted with puppies in mind. The morsels are the right size and there is added nutrition to support good health overall. Remember though, even puppy dry food must be correctly soaked before serving it.
How To Soak Your Puppy’s Dry Food?
Most pet parents use something flat, such as a safe plate, to place the dry food on for soaking. Use warm water and pour it all over the dry food. Mix the water into the food. Then wait ten or fifteen minutes.
After this process is complete, mix this combination one more time. Check the food to ensure it is not too hot and that it is soft enough. If it is not soft enough, repeat these steps as needed.
Tips on Feeding Your Puppy
This applies to both, meat and dry food. When you place the food on the floor for the puppy to eat, make sure you always use the same spot. That way he or she will always know where to go in the house to eat.
When shopping for puppy food, select a brand and flavor that it will find appealing. If the puppy does not like it, change types. It is imperative that is eats regularly.
At What Age Should You Stop Soaking the Puppy Food?
This is what you have been waiting for; the answer to our key question. In actuality, the age of the dog can differ. Many experts recommend stopping the soaking process when the puppy is between ten and twelve weeks old.
The reason it can differ is that every puppy is different with different needs. If he or she does not appear to like soggy food, try plain ordinary dry food at an earlier age. It also depends on if the puppy can handle chewing the regular dry food without difficulty.
Are There Other Exceptions to the Rule?
Yes! Some dogs like their food soaked for their entire lives. When you try stopping, the dog will not eat the food. Since your dog must eat, then continue to soak its food no matter what age it is. There is no steadfast rule as to when to commence or to end soaking the dry dog food.
Another exception could be if the puppy has difficulty keeping the soaked dry food down. For whatever reason, either the brand you have chosen or the process of soaking it irritates its stomach. The decision of whether to keep soaking the food can rest upon this.
What Advice Can Be Given?
The best thing to do is consult your veterinarian. He or she knows your puppy’s health condition and what is best for it. If there do not seem to be any issues, dry puppy food can stop being soaked at any age.
The vet might also have suggestions as to which brand is the healthiest. The suggestions could change as the dog gets older. If the food is too plain for your puppy and he or she will not eat it, ask the veterinarian to recommend an alternative.
Another piece of advice the vet can give you is where to buy dry food or other dietary necessities. Should you go to a pet store? Is the grocery store sufficient? The veterinarian will answer all questions. Enjoy your puppy!