What can you do with those dog treats that come out of the package hard? What about dog food and biscuits that sit in your home too long and get stale? It may seem like those items are good for nothing but the trash, but there are some ways to soften them up. You don’t want to drop money in the trash, so let’s check out some of the best options to resurrect treats, biscuits, and food so that your dog doesn’t miss out.
How Do You Soften Stale, Hardened, or Dried-Out Dog Treats?
You may need to soften hard dog treats for your dog to chew them comfortably. Older dogs often have trouble with hard treats, but even younger dogs are at risk of breaking their teeth on hard treats. It’s best to soften them up some if your dog seems to struggle when chewing them. You may also want to do this if you know your dog already has dental issues.
If you believe the dog treats are stale, check the expiration date on the package. You don’t want to feed your dog treats that are too far out of date because they may lead to sickness. If you believe they’re still good and want to soften them, we have a few suggestions.
Soften Treats with a Warm Rag
Wrap the hard treat in a warm, moist rag. You can also use a paper towel. Allow it to sit, bending the treat occasionally to see if it is softening up. This is the simplest way to soften up some dog treats that are too hard for a dog to chew safely.
Soften Treats in the Microwave
If allowing the treat to sit in a warm rag or paper towel doesn’t do the trick, you can try steaming it in the microwave. Wrap it in a moist paper towel and place it in the microwave on low heat. Just a minute or two should work for many dog treats. You can repeat the process a few times if you don’t get the results you want the first time.
Soften Treats in a Ziploc Bag
Place the hard dog treats in a Ziploc bag along with a slightly moist paper towel. Make sure the towel isn’t too wet. You may have good results with a piece of bread in place of the paper towel. Seal the bag tight and let it sit overnight.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to allow the dog treat to sit in the bag too long. It may soften, allowing bacteria to build up inside the treat. It’s best to soften it overnight and take it out immediately.
Turn Hard Dog Treats into Gravy
Do you have dog treats that just will not soften? You can pour hot water over them, allowing them to become soggy and crumble. Add just enough water to create a gravy, and then pour that over your dog’s food for at treat at the next feeding.
Can You Add Water to Dry Dog Food to Soften It?
You can add water to dry dog food to soften it, but you want to feed it to your pet right away afterwards. Dog food and treats are often hard because softer textures aren’t self-stable for long periods. Soft treats and foods may allow bacteria and microbes to grow, potentially causing sickness in a dog.
It’s best to soften dog food with water right before you’re ready to feed your pet. One option is to splash just a little water over the dog food. You can use little bits over the top, pushing down on the food afterwards to see if it has softened.
If you want to add more hot water, you can turn it into a gravy substance. The more water you add, the thinner the gravy. This is a good idea if your pet is struggling to chew even slightly hard food. It’s best to have your pet’s teeth checked by a vet if they continue to struggle with hard dog food.
How Do You Soften Dog Biscuits?
You can soften hard dog biscuits just as you would other hardened dog treats. Start by wrapping it in a damp, warm wash cloth or paper towel. If sitting like that doesn’t work, try putting it in the microwave for a minute or two.
Placing the biscuit in a plastic bag with a moist paper towel and zipping it closed is another option. Let it sit overnight and remove promptly to see if it has softened to your satisfaction. Some pet owners have success doing this with a piece of break in place of the paper towel as well.
You may want to try adding small drops of warm water to the biscuit, but water is more likely to leave it soggy. You can always turn biscuits into gravy if you plan on feeding it to your dog right away. This takes away the pleasure that many dogs get from chewing hard bones and biscuits, but it is an option when all else fails.
How Do You Keep Store Bought Dog Treats Soft?
Soft dog treats are gentler on your dog’s teeth, but they come with a much shorter shelf life than hard dog treats. You can keep them longer by selecting more carefully when in the store. Look for plastic bags that have zip locks across the top. That allows you to seal the treats in the bag, preserving them for a longer period of time.
If you buy dog treats that don’t come in an airtight bag, you can seal them in Ziploc bags at home. Pushing all the air out before you seal the bag will extend their shelf life at least a little.
Finally, you can place dog treats in an airtight container and then store in the refrigerator or freezer. Homemade dog treats can last up to two months in the refrigerator, and some soft dog treats are the same. You will need to thaw the treats out before feeding to your pet if you go with the freezer.
How to Soften Dog Food for Older Dogs
Water is the best resource for softening hard dog food when your pet’s teeth aren’t as strong as they were in the puppy days. Start by adding just a tablespoon or two, and then add more water as needed. The food will expand in size and get soggier as more water is added. You don’t want to go overboard if your dog can handle a little crunch.
If you have an older dog unable to chew even slightly crunchy dog food, you can add more water and turn it into a paste or even a gravy. To add more flavor, try adding some broth or milk to the mixture. That can add more nutrients to the food, which many older dogs can use. If nothing else, your dog will likely appreciate the added flavor.
How to Soften Dog Biscuits for Puppies
It’s best to stick with dog biscuits and treats that were designed for puppies. They’re generally softer and much easier to chew because puppies may not have the full chewing power of an adult dog. If you store those biscuits and treats in an airtight container, they should stay softer for a longer period of time.
If you want to feed your puppy a harder biscuit, start by wrapping it in a soft rag or paper towel. You can either let it sit there for a while to soften or place it in the microwave for a short period of time. Sealing it in an airtight plastic bag with a moist paper towel overnight is another option, but don’t leave it in there too long.