When to Stop Soaking Puppy Food? Complete Guide

Besides the crucial query of “when to stop soaking dry food for puppies,” understanding what to feed your puppy is equally important, taking into account their age, breed, or weight.

I believe in guiding pet owners on the healthiest methods to nourish their developing furry friends, ensuring they achieve their utmost potential as strong, friendly, and affectionate companions.

When should you Stop Soaking Dry Food for Puppies?

It’s suggested to soak puppy food between the ages of 3 to 4 weeks up until about 12 weeks.

However, there’s no strict rule here. Some puppies, and even older dogs, might always prefer their dry food soaked.

This actually gives them more water, which is a positive thing!

Make sure to use warm or hot water to soften the dry food, aiming to make it gentler on their developing teeth.

But remember, let it cool down before giving it to your puppy.

How should you Soak Dry Food for Puppies?

When puppies are around 3-4 weeks old, they start moving to softened dry puppy food.

Since they’re still quite small at this stage, it’s important to make the food easy for them to reach without struggling over tall bowl edges.

A lot of puppy parents choose a flat surface or a plate to put the dry food on. They pour warm water over it and allow it to soak for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

After giving it a brief stir and making sure it’s not too hot, they place it on the floor for the puppy to eat.

What’s the Ideal Duration for Soaking Puppy Food?

Typically, it takes about 10-15 minutes to properly soak puppy food until it becomes loose and soft.

This helps because young puppies are still growing their teeth and need an easier texture to chew.

If you’ve used hot water, be certain it’s cooled down before offering it to your puppy – this cooling might take more than the initial 10-15 minutes.

How Should I Determine the Right Amount of Food to Give My Puppy?

Each dog’s needs can vary depending on the type of food.

Always refer to the labeling for useful guidelines based on your dog’s age or weight.

Start offering Dog puppy food when your puppy is about 6 weeks old, and keep feeding it until your puppy becomes an adult.

Once they reach adulthood, it’s a good idea to switch to Dog adult food.

For puppies under 12 weeks old, it’s recommended to soak their dry food. When introducing Dog food, do it gradually over 7 days, increasing the amount each day.

How frequently should I Feed My Puppy?

It’s advised to give your puppy four meals each day until they’re around 4 months old (16 weeks).

After that, you can decrease the meals to three times a day until they’re 6 months old.

Once they reach 6 months, you can transition them to two meals a day, and this routine can continue for the rest of their life.

Can Soak your Puppy’s Food Aids in Digestion?

Your puppy’s body naturally produces stomach acid, which is necessary to break down its food and properly absorb its components. Water doesn’t directly impact this process.

But, if your puppy is quite young and finds it difficult to chew their food, adding water can aid in breaking it down for the next stage of digestion.

Having water and food together doesn’t speed up digestion or absorption.

To sum up, giving your pup water with their food doesn’t significantly enhance digestion, as long as your puppy is properly hydrated.

Can Soaking Your Puppy’s Food Help with Keeping Them Hydrated?

Dogs can sometimes forget to drink enough water, which can lead to dehydration.

Mixing water into their food aids in maintaining hydration, as they instinctively consume the water while eating.

For puppies, soaking their kibble in water is beneficial because they’re used to getting both hydration and nutrients from their mother’s milk.

Always make sure your puppy has access to fresh, clean water, even if it seems like they’re not drinking much.

As you reduce the water in their puppy gruel, they’ll start seeking water from other sources and begin using their water bowl.

Does Soaking Your Puppy’s Food Increase its Volume?

Moreover, when you soak dry food, it swells in size, which lets your puppy consume a sufficient amount in a single meal before feeling full.

This encourages smoother digestion and reduces the chances of blockages or constipation.

Soaking puppy food is a convenient approach that many owners find beneficial.

Just remember not to soak your pup’s food excessively, as this can affect the essential vitamins and minerals they need!

What Food Should I Give to My Puppy?

The majority of puppy owners typically bring their adorable puppies home when they are at least 8 weeks old.

It’s not recommended to separate puppies from their mother and littermates before around 7 weeks.

So, if you’re getting a puppy that’s being rehomed before this age, it’s a cause for concern!

On the other hand, if you’re a breeder, it’s crucial to understand the stages a puppy experiences in those initial weeks to ensure they receive the proper nutrients from the beginning.

What should you feed a Puppy that’s between 0 to 3 Weeks Old?

During the first 0 to 3 weeks of life, a puppy primarily relies on nursing from their mother’s teat.

They usually feed every 2 to 4 hours, and while some puppies may need more encouragement initially, they quickly learn to nurse on their own.

What should you feed a Puppy that’s between 3 to 4 Weeks Old?

Starting from around 3 to 4 weeks of age, the weaning process begins for puppies.

At this point, it’s a good idea to introduce them to puppy food but keep in mind that they’ve just begun teething.

It can take up to 6 weeks for their teeth to fully develop.

Due to this, we recommend soaking dry puppy food in warm or hot water during this time.

This softens the food, making it easier for them to eat and it ensures they get enough water intake, which they might not manage on their own yet.

What should you feed a Puppy that is 6 Weeks Old?

Once your puppy reaches 6 weeks of age, it should be ready to consume solid foods.

Although they can manage solid food, some owners still opt to soak it.

Puppies who have recently grown their teeth often appreciate the softer texture.

What should you feed a Puppy that’s between 8 to 12 Weeks Old?

As a new puppy owner, when you bring your new furry friend home at about 8-12 weeks old, they should already be accustomed to a specific type of puppy food from the breeder.

It’s a good idea to stick with this food initially when you first bring them home, and then gradually transition them to the food you prefer.

Puppies grow about 20 times faster than adult dogs, so they need consistent feeding and the proper nutrients to ensure they lead a complete and joyful life.


It’s crucial to consider your puppy’s age and size when deciding when to stop soaking their food.

If you’re uncertain, it’s wise to consult your veterinarian for guidance on the appropriate timing to make the change.

When you do switch, do so gradually and observe your pup for any signs of discomfort.

Keep in mind that soaking puppy food supports digestion, prevents food sensitivities, and minimizes stomach issues.

However, as your puppy grows in age, size, and activity level, soaking becomes unnecessary, and you can transition to dry food.

While soaking aids your pup’s nutrition and digestion, it’s vital to know when to cease the practice so your pup can gain the utmost benefits from their diet.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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