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Can Putting Water In Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?


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You want to add water to your dog’s food because the dry kibble is too hard. Dry dog food can seem too harsh on a dog’s teeth but rest assured that your dog’s teeth are capable of breaking through dry dog food – even for puppies and senior dogs.

If you’re still concerned about dry food and want to add water, the following information will answer the question: “Can putting water in dog food cause diarrhea?”

Can Putting Water in Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?

Most dogs will not suffer from diarrhea when water is added to their dog food. However, there are some dogs that suffer from digestive upset from it, but it’s not the combination of water and dry dog food. It’s for other reasons related to adding to water to the dog’s food.

can putting water in dog food cause diarrhea

Common Causes of Dog Diarrhea When Adding Water to Dry Food

Diarrhea is a common symptom of digestive upset, and it can be caused by any number of things.

Imbalance of Electrolytes and Nutrients

When water is added to dog food, it can cause an imbalance of electrolytes and nutrients, which can cause digestive upset.

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This can also occur if your dog drinks a lot of water during the meal because whether the water is in the dry food or not doesn’t matter. It all goes to one place – the dog’s stomach.


The added moisture can create an environment that is conducive to the growth of harmful bacteria, which can lead to diarrhea. This is especially true if your dog free feeds, which means the pet food sits for hours.

Change in Dog’s Diet

Adding water to a dog’s food is considered a diet change. Whenever your dog’s diet changes, it’s important to do it gradually over time. In this case, add a small amount of water to the dry kibble at first and then gradually increase it each day. This will help your dog’s digestive system adjust to the change.

Dirty Water

Contaminated water can cause digestive upset. Make sure the water you use is clean and free from contaminants.


Dog diarrhea can also result from overfeeding. When adding water to your pet’s food, you’re adding volume. A dog’s stomach is only so big and that volume can cause an upset stomach and disruption in the dog’s digestive system, which results can result in dog diarrhea.

To avoid overfeeding, consider feeding your dog less than the usual amount at first. If your dog still seems hungry after eating, add more to the dog’s food bowl each day.

Water Temperature

Hot water or cold water can cause digestive distress that then can lead to loose stools. The temperature of the water should be room temperature.

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What to Do About Your Dog’s Diarrhea

Mild cases of gastrointestinal upset usually subside in 12 hours but can take as long as 24 hours. If your dog has diarrhea for more than 12 hours, contact your vet for advice because dehydration is a possibility, which can be life-threatening.

To help your dog’s digestive problems resolve, feed a bland diet. Chicken and rice is a popular diarrhea remedy for dogs, but so is giving your furry friend some pumpkin.

Psyllium husk is another option. It’s a fiber that firms up loose stools. Add it to your pantry if you don’t already have it because it can come in handy during an upset stomach and any anal gland problems. Read more about that here: Best Dog Food for Anal Gland Issues

dry or raw for dog food

Alternatives to Your Dog’s Dry Food

If you don’t feel comfortable feeding your puppy or adult dog dry food, you may want to consider a different type of pet food for your pup. Wet kibble may seem like the best solution to the hardness of dry food or switching to wet dog food, but there is something better – fresh raw dog food.

Unfortunately, many commercial pet foods are not as healthy as we (dog owners) would like them to be, especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food intolerances. Dogs are similar to humans. The better they eat, the better their health.

If you’re experiencing mild cases of dog diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues, you may want to read more about changing to a new food like fresh or raw dog food. It can be great for dogs with food allergies, food intolerances, and digestive problems. It’s also much better for your dog’s health.

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All ages can benefit from a regular diet of this type of food. Since it’s fresh and/or raw, it’s soft like wet kibble or wet dog food.

Learn more about fresh raw dog food by reading these articles: Advantages of Raw Dog Food and Is Fresh Food Better for Dogs?

A new food may seem scary, but when it’s a switch to healthier food, it’s a good change that can help your dog feel better and live longer.

Overview of Can Putting Water In Dog Food Cause Diarrhea

Putting water in dog food does not cause diarrhea unless the water is at an extreme temperature, contaminates, leads to overfeeding, or is contaminated.

Be sure to gradually add water to dry food so the dog’s digestive system can adjust to the change in diet.

If your dog’s diarrhea doesn’t resolve within 24 hours, contact the veterinarian for advice. Diarrhea isn’t life-threatening unless it leads to dehydration. Be sure to pay attention to how much water your dog is drinking.

Consider changing your dog’s diet to fresh and/or raw dog food. It’s healthier and is less likely to cause digestive problems.

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