Is it a Good Idea to Warm Up Your Dog’s Food?

Is it a Good Idea to Warm Up Your Dog’s Food?

Author WDF Staff


Many dog owners warm up their dog’s food. In fact, Purina’s research found out that about 25% of all dog owners actually warm up their dog’s food. Why do they do it? Is it a good idea to warm up your dog’s food? This is an interesting question that has an interesting answer. The answer is - perhaps. There are some cases where warming up your dog’s food makes complete sense. Here’s what you should know.

Why should you warm up your dog’s food?

To fully understand why warming your dog’s food makes sense, we have to go a little bit back to our dog’s ancestors. Dogs come from predators, and when predators hunt, their prey will still be warm while they eat it. These days, dogs are far away from their predatorial ancestors, but some instincts remain with them. Warm food might actually be more palatable and smellier to them.

Most dog food manufacturing companies advise us to serve dog food at room temperature. That goes for dry and wet foods. If the food is at room temperature, your dog’s nose will pick up the scent easier. Think of it this way - you probably know how smelly a garbage bag can be during warm summer days. The same goes for your dog’s food. The warmer it is, the smellier it will get.

raw dog food

What dogs could benefit from warm food?

We already mentioned there are a few cases where your dog will benefit from eating warm food. This is not something you absolutely have to do every time your dog ears, but occasionally, warming their food is a good idea. Here are a few cases where dogs will benefit from eating warm dog food;

Cold dogs

Some breeds have thick double coats that insulate them even in the lowest temperatures. However, some dogs have thin coats that are not enough to keep them warm during those cold winter days. Dogs that are cold will benefit from eating warm dog food because the food will actually raise their core temperature.

Sick dogs

If you’re an experienced dog owner, you already know that sick dogs refuse food. However, food is the source of energy the dog will need to get better. Your vet will probably tell you you need to monitor your dog’s food intake. If that doesn’t improve, the vet will have to intervene. One of the ways you can get your dog to eat is by warming their food. They will find the food irresistible and might eat the whole thing.

dog food in bowl

Picky eaters

Some dogs are difficult to feed regardless of their physical health. They might not like the food’s smell or taste and refuse to eat. Naturally, you can switch their foods, add toppers, or warm up their food. Their primal instincts and nose will kick in, and you might get them to eat their usual food. If you want to know which dog foods are great for picky eaters, check out this article - Best dog food for picky eaters.

Dog’s preference

Some dogs will simply prefer eating warm food. You won’t know that until you try it. Other dogs have no preference and will gladly eat whatever you give them. However, some dogs seem to enjoy warm food a bit more. Adapt to your dog’s taste and make sure they enjoy their food as much as you enjoy yours.

Is it a good idea to warm up your dog’s food?

The truth is that warming up your dog food IS a good idea. You can try giving it to your dog and see how the dog reacts. Some might be indifferent, and some might be ecstatic. Warming up the food is an excellent idea if you have a sick dog, a senior, or a picky eater. Your meal-time issues might get resolved by simply warming it up for a couple of minutes.

How to safely warm up the dog’s food?

There are different ways you can warm up your dog’s food. Most of us will pick the easiest and most practical way - microwave. However, experts say this is not the optimal way to do it. Microwaving your dog’s food might destroy some of the healthy nutrients your dog needs. Plus, you can’t just put a dog’s bowl in a microwave.

Instead, you should warm it up by using hot or boiling water. This doesn’t mean you actually boil your dog’s food because that too will destroy the nutrients within the food. You should place your dog’s food in a protective container and immerse the whole container in hot water. Give it a minute or two, and the food will be warm enough for your dog.

How warm should the dog’s food be?

One of the most important things you should ensure is that you don’t serve your dog food that is too hot. You could accidentally injure your dog and cause them burns to their mouth and digestive tract. Unfortunately, if your dog finds the food irresistible, they will dig in regardless of the food’s temperature. The ideal temperature of the food should be 101 - 102,5 F. You can test the food on your skin. If it’s too hot for your skin, you can be sure it is too hot for your dog. If you want to be really safe, keep a thermometer for checking.

World Dog Finder team

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