Does Wet Dog Food Help With Dehydration? Its Top Benefits

Keeping your furry friend well-hydrated is a fundamental aspect, as dehydration in dogs can lead to various health risks, from kidney issues to heatstroke.

While fresh water is a primary source of hydration, many dog owners wonder if wet food for dogs can play a role in preventing the mentioned issue in their canine companions.

Does wet dog food help with dehydration?

In this article, let’s get into details of the question to examine the unique characteristics of wet dog food and its potential health benefits.

Does Wet Dog Food Help With Dehydration?

does wet dog food help with dehydration

Yes, wet dog food can help with dehydration in dogs when used as a part of their diet thanks to its higher moisture content than kibble (about 70 – 80%).

However, it should not be a stand-in for fresh water, which remains the primary source of hydration.

The Importance Of Hydration In Dogs

Helps Regulate Body Temperature

Dogs have limited sweat glands, primarily located in their paw pads. Thus, they rely heavily on panting to cool down.

Adequate hydration ensures that the saliva and mucus used for panting are readily available.

During hot weather or intense physical activity, dogs lose moisture content through panting.

Dehydration can hinder this cooling mechanism, putting them at risk of heat stroke – a potentially life-threatening condition.

Providing proper hydration levels helps dogs maintain their core body temperature within a safe range, ensuring comfort and safety.

Aids In Digestion

Water is a fundamental component of saliva, which begins the digestive process. It moistens food, making it easier to chew and swallow.

In the stomach, water combines with stomach acid to create gastric juices. These will then break down food particles and promote efficient digestion.

In the intestines, water assists in absorbing nutrients from digested food. It also softens feces, reducing the risk of constipation.

Lubricates Joints

Joint health is vital for a dog’s mobility and overall quality of life.

Dehydration can reduce synovial fluid production, potentially causing discomfort, stiffness, and even joint damage, especially in seniors.

Maintaining optimal joint lubrication supports active and pain-free movement, allowing dogs to enjoy their daily activities.

Support Organ Functioning

Water facilitates the transport of oxygen, essential nutrients, and hormones to various organs and tissues.

Adequate hydration is essential for the kidney’s ability to filter waste products from the blood and excrete them as urine.

Staying hydrated through wet dog food helps dogs pee more. Meanwhile, dehydration can lead to kidney malfunction and urinary tract issues.

The liver, responsible for detoxifying the body and processing nutrients, relies on water consumption to effectively carry out its metabolic functions.

What Causes Dehydration In Dogs?

What Causes Dehydration In Dogs

Inadequate Water Intake

The most common cause of dehydration in dogs is simply not drinking enough water.

This can happen due to forgetfulness on the owner’s part, a lack of access to clean water, or underlying medical issues that reduce a dog’s thirst.

Illness or Infection 

Dogs suffering from illnesses may experience increased fluid loss through vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination, hence the loss of water.

Heat and Exertion

Hot weather and strenuous physical activities can rapidly cause dogs to lose fluids through panting and sweating.

Failure to replenish these lost fluids can result in dehydration and heat stroke.


Fever is another potential culprit behind dehydration in dogs. When suffering a fever, the temperature of their body instantly increases. To cool down, their body loses water.


Dogs with diabetes may have increased thirst and urination, especially if not well-managed. If they fail to drink enough water to compensate, dehydration is inevitable.


Some medications, particularly diuretics, can increase urine production and fluid loss, potentially causing dehydration.


Senior dogs are more susceptible to dehydration due to age-related changes in their bodies, including reduced kidney function and decreased thirst perception.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Persistent vomiting or diarrhea can quickly end up with dehydration as fluids are lost faster than they can be replenished.

Inadequate Access to Water

Dogs may become dehydrated if they cannot get their paws on a clean, fresh quantity of water, especially during hot weather or when left outdoors without water.

Underlying Health Conditions 

Specific health issues, such as kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, or hyperthyroidism, can make dogs more susceptible to dehydration because they disrupt the body’s natural fluid balance.

Signs Of Dehydrated Dogs You Should Know 

Vomiting: Persistent vomiting is the shortest way to fluid loss and dehydration, as the dog expels both stomach contents and fluids.

If vomiting continues, it is essential to address both the underlying cause and rehydrate the dog.

Diarrhea: Diarrhea can result in significant fluid loss and electrolyte imbalances. Loose, watery stools indicate that your dog may lose more fluids than usual.

Dry gums: Healthy dogs typically have moist, pink gums. Dry or sticky gums may indicate dehydration.

You can perform a simple “capillary refill test” by pressing a finger against the gums; they should quickly return to their normal color if the dog stays hydrated.

Decreased appetite: Dogs often lose interest in food when they are dehydrated or not feeling well.

If your dog is refusing meals or eating significantly less, it is a sign that something may be amiss.

Lack of energy: Dehydrated dogs may appear lethargic or less active than usual. They might seem tired and unwilling to engage in their typical activities.

Excessive panting: While dogs pant to regulate body temperature, excessive panting can be a sign of distress or overheating and dehydration.

This is especially relevant in hot weather or during vigorous exercise.

Other Ways To Prevent Your Dog From Dehydration

Can wet food replace water

It is an undeniable claim that wet dog food provides hydration for your pets.

If you are unable to find any wet dog food around your house, here are some other ways to get the job done:

Various Water Bowls Places

How can I hydrate my dog fast? Providing them with more water is the fastest way, especially when a pup is not mature enough to consume wet food.

You can start by positioning multiple water bowls throughout your home in different areas, both indoors and outdoors.

Ensure that water bowls are easily accessible and conveniently located, making it effortless for your dog to stay hydrated.

When on the go, carry a portable water bowl for outings, walks, or adventures to provide your dog with regular hydration opportunities.


Does wet food provide hydration for dogs? Yes!

Besides that, you can create hydrating smoothies using dog-safe ingredients like unsweetened coconut water, plain yogurt, and frozen fruits.

Offer these healthy treats as a refreshing and delicious meal or as a reward for good behavior.

The enticing variety of flavors can encourage your dog to drink more while staying hydrated.

Drinking Fountain

Invest in a dog-friendly drinking water fountain that mimics the allure of running water.

Many dogs are attracted to flowing water, and a fountain can stimulate them to drink more frequently.

Fountains keep water oxygenated and fresh, ensuring your dog always consumes clean water.

Frozen Treats

What foods help with dehydration for dogs? Frozen treats are a good choice for dogs with dehydrated conditions.

Make frozen treats by mixing water with low-sodium bone broth (chicken or beef) and freezing the mixture into ice cube trays.

Besides, foods that can help hydrate a dog include healthy food such as watermelon, cucumber, ice cubes, plain yogurt, and low-sodium broth or stock.

These food types can serve as enjoyable and cooling snacks, ideal for hot days or as a rewarding treat.

They can also be used as interactive toys, keeping your dog entertained while helping them stay hydrated.


What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Your Dog Wet Food?

Feeding your dog wet food brings tons of key benefits, which are:

Enhance taste: Wet dog food is more appealing due to its rich flavors and aromas, making it an excellent choice for picky eaters and dogs with dental issues that may struggle with dry food or kibble diets.

Provide sufficient hydration: Wet dog food contains around 70-80% water content.

This high percentage of moisture helps your dog stay well-hydrated, which is crucial for optimal health, especially in hot weather or for dogs prone to urinary tract issues.

Easier to chew: The soft texture of wet dog food is gentler on the gums and teeth.

Therefore, it is ideal for dogs with digestive issues to chew and swallow, promoting better dental health.

Can A Dog Get Enough Water From Wet Foods?

Can wet food replace water? No, wet foods can not replace water, and your pet can never stay hydrated with only wet food in their diet.

How Is Dehydration Treated?

Introducing more water and foods with higher moisture content is the only way to combat this issue.


Does wet dog food help with dehydration? Undoubtedly, the answer is yes. However, it should be regarded as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, fresh water.

Striking the right balance between hydration sources and considering your dog’s individual needs remains paramount for its overall health benefits and well-being at all life stages.

By doing so, you can ensure that your canine companion stays properly hydrated and thriving.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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