View Full Version : Warning about soaking dry dog food

2nd May 2006, 02:51 PM
This is a terrible story but worth posting. My cousin recently bought two springer spaniel pups and on the breeders instructions bought dry Pedigree adult food (not sure which one but will post when I know). She told her to soak the food for 15 minutes before feeding. This was working out fine until she had to buy replacement food. They only had the puppy variety so she went with that. She soaked it for 15 minutes and gave it to the dogs. One of the pups ate more than the other and soon thereafter was screaming in pain. She took the pup to the vet where it sadly died. It turns out that the food had swelled to 4 times it's normal size in the puppy's stomach and therefore it killed the puppy. I asked her what the instructions said and there was nothing about soaking the food, therefore I believe it should not have been soaked. She made a very innocent mistake with tragic results. :( Does anyone here know anything about soaking dry food and how it should be done properly? Needless to say she is being very careful how she feeds the remaining pup and she feels so guilty it would break your heart.

2nd May 2006, 03:28 PM
Oh your poor cousin.... what a tragic event. We had the pedigree chum dry puppy for Busta and soaked it - but made sure we had the right measurement, we are now soaking Ozzy's as his front teeth are coming through and a bit painful....

2nd May 2006, 04:19 PM
That seems so odd to me.. If you ate it dry, it would have to soak up liquid to fall apart (in the stomach)-- so wouldn't soaking it outside the body help? I have two pups who are losing teeth-- the lil girl won't eat the dry unless I soften it with water or broth first. Such a sad ending-- so sorry for the pup and your cousin. Sandy

2nd May 2006, 04:25 PM
I have to soak my Sasha's food as she has had throat surgery and literally chokes on everything she eats unless it is very, very small. I'm using Natural Balance Reduced Caloric....


2nd May 2006, 04:30 PM
We're guessing that it should have been soaked for longer than the original food. The original food was soaked for 15 minutes. It really was just an unfortunate turn of events. I just shows that you have to be really careful when changing the food I think.

2nd May 2006, 04:56 PM
It can indeed swell. Maybe it was a harder food and hadn;t swelled as much. This can happen with fish if you feed dried flake -- if they eat a lot of it when it is dry and then it swells and can cause problems and even death.

I wonder if this was bloat -- which can be really dangerous -- and your cousin misunderstood it as being entirely due to soaking the food? It could have come from the pup drinking a lot of water on top of the food already being soaked, perhaps?


I'm sorry to hear this happened, it would be so upsetting. :(

2nd May 2006, 06:33 PM
Oh my, this is just so sad.
How awful, I have never soak Dudley's kibble.
Did she contact the breeder ?????????
How devasted she must be, I am so so sorry.

2nd May 2006, 07:18 PM
Thanks guys. I read that link on Bloat and it looks like the same symptoms. From what I was told the puppy was a little hoover and just gobbled up the lot. I don't know if she's contacted the breeder yet but I do know that she has written to pedigree because there were no guidelines for soaking the food on the packet. I couldn't stop thinking about it all day yesterday, it's just so sad.

2nd May 2006, 11:11 PM
That's so sad :cry*ing: I've been thinking about soaking Maisie's food over the last few days as her front 2 teeth have come out and she seems to have gone off her food a bit. I think after reading this I'll perservere with the science plan dry food as she's always had it - dry from the pack. I guess it's just like when babies teethe. They go off their food too, but they will always take enough to keep going until their mouths are feeling better.

Maisie (ruby)

2nd May 2006, 11:23 PM
Springers would have the deep chest mentioned as being more prone to bloat. I'd say it wasn;t just the soaking, but eating fast as well and also probably drinking or playing aferwards. It would be more complicated probably than just soaking the food. A lot of dry foods are designed to be soaked and they'll mention adding water if not how much; but but that is odd that Pedigree wouldn't say on the packet.

3rd May 2006, 02:34 AM
I sometimes call my bailey a little "scarfbucket" because he inhales his food super fast. Never thought this could be potential for such a serious problem. I feed him 3x daily, 1/3 cup each feeding, a mix of dry and wet food (no soaking). I'll probably start cutting his food back soon, to 2x per day, as he's almost 6 months. think there's any reason I should be concerned about his scarfbucketing?

I am so sorry to hear the awful news about the little pup ... so very sad.

3rd May 2006, 11:35 AM
My Lucy also "scarfbuckets" her food. She literally leap frogs into her bowl, and inhales her food within what seems like a few seconds! I'm feeding her 3x a day (6 a.m, noon, and 6 p.m.). She gets a 1/2 cup of dry food each feeding. She gets 1 treat in the afternoon and once in awhile enjoys a few tiny pieces of an apple. She always seems sooooo hungry that I feel as if I'm starving her, but I don't want to overfeed her. She drinks water after she eats, and after reading these posts I'm concerned about whether I should allow her to drink right after eating.

3rd May 2006, 12:27 PM
Our Twinkle is exactly the same but I've found that mixing a little bit of wet food well in with the dry and it's harder for her to eat so fast. I don't want everyone to be alarmed by the original post, I just put it up there to make people more aware. Now that it's out there it's just something to keep an eye out for.

3rd May 2006, 01:17 PM
Eating quickly usually isn;t a problem but I suppose I'd keep an eye so that a dog doesn;t drink a large quantity of water after feeding.

This breed ALWAYS acts like it is starving. :roll: And thus are ususally very prone to getting fat! For health reasons it is really important not to overfeed. By four to six months you can definitely move to two feeds a day. :)

Lots of good feeding advice here:


3rd May 2006, 05:19 PM
Thanks, Karlin. I clicked on the link you posted...lots of good info. I spent quite a bit of time reading! :yikes

4th May 2006, 02:34 PM
I'm sorry that your cousin had to go through that. My lab has bloated twice (about 6 weeks apart). I think it is important to know that while overeating-overdrinking is probably the most common reason for bloating it is not the only reason to bloat. Both times my lab bloated it didn't have anything to do with eating or drinking and in fact the first time he bloated he had an empty stomach. While are little ones probably have little chance of bloating it is something that people should know about.

4th May 2006, 03:04 PM
I saw my neighbour this morning, she has two cockers - Val went away on holiday and when they came back, Sophie the bitch was soooo happy that she would not eat, was very bloated and sleepy. They took her to the vets and he said that as Val was back Sophie was so happy that she had stress - Sopher then developed the runs and they found that it had cat litter in there - seems she was so excited to see mum again that she went ate it... she is okay now thank god.

9th May 2006, 03:20 AM
My Byron (9 months old) is the first dog I've ever known who doesn't gobble up his food. Sometimes it sits in his bowl all day, and he'll finally get around to eating after his evening walk.

I've never soaked his food...none of the packaging or the vet suggested it. He'd had a couple bouts of colitis in March and April, so the vet had me try a prescription high fiber dog food. I've started mixing it half-and-half again with his regular puppy food (Eukanuba) as it was causing him to need to poop several times a day. He still seems to be doing OK with the 1/2 and 1/2 mixture. I'm going to be getting another Cav :wggle: pup next month, and they'll be sharing a pen and food (I hope) so I'll have to see how this will work out with the new pup.