Microwaving dog food

So your dog/pet food is frozen, and you’re wondering whether to feed it to your pet or warm it.

Then you remember how easy-peasy it is to heat food in the microwave and want to use it.

Can you microwave pet food?

This is a common question pet owners often ask. By the end of this article, you’ll have the correct answer and a more detailed analysis of this query.

Is it Necessary to Microwave Dog Food?

Yes, you can microwave dog/pet food for two reasons. But there are instances in which you might consider not microwaving the food.

Microwaving your dog/pet food has both benefits and downsides. The best thing to do is consider your dog/pet’s preferences by observing its behavior.

But the most vital consideration to have in mind is that pets don’t appreciate extremely hot food. Microwaving it beyond room temperature can cause burns to the throat and tongue because the pet won’t take chances to feel the temperature of the food once you serve it.

So, you should only microwave it to room temperature to avoid trouble.

Another important thing to consider is the type of food you want to microwave. Wet foods do well in the microwave.

You can toss them into the microwave after getting them from your refrigerator. Storing wet dog food in the refrigerator prevents it from going bad.

On the contrary, you can serve dry food without microwaving it. Unlike wet foods, it’ll not be too cold to affect the appetite of your dog/pet.

How Do You Microwave Dog Food?

Step #1: Take your dog’s food out of the refrigerator.

Step #2: Transfer the amount you need on a microwave-safe plate, usually one portion.

Step #3: Take it into your microwave and heat. Microwave it for 10-15 seconds if you took it right from the refrigerator. You may need to extend this time if it was frozen. You should always aim for room temperature. 

Step #4: Take the plate out of the microwave. Place your pinkie finger and check if the temperature is alright. You can use a thermometer to check if it has attained the ideal 101F to 102.5F.

Step #5: If it’s warm, wash your hands and get ready to serve your dog/pet.

Why Should You Microwave Pet Food?

The main reason why you should consider microwaving your dog/pet food is to enhance flavor. Dogs may lose the sense of smell or interest to eat under different conditions.

The most common reason why your dog may lack interest in food is illness. The same problem may also stem from old age.

After a prolonged period of injury or illness, your dog may experience heightened energy requirements. But illness will often make your dog lose interest in food.

So, during convalescence, it is necessary to microwave dog food to stimulate interest in eating. Just microwave that energy-dense food to room temperature between 101F and 102.5F.

At room temperature, the dog’s food gains an enticing aroma that your pet will hardly resist. The taste will also be welcoming for your dog to enjoy the meal.

If your ailing dog is on dry food, add some amount of animal fat to the food to enhance smell and make it more appealing. You can also add some water at body temperature.

On the same note, elderly dogs with diminished sense of smell can gain more interest to eat from the aroma of microwaved food.

Some pet parents feel that microwaving dog food makes them more inclined to eat it because their wild ancestors would kill prey and eat it while it’s still warm.

But there are some old studies that warn against microwaving dog/pet food. In their defense, they argue that microwaving food only destroys nutrients, making it unnecessary.

We would, however, wish to counteract that argument as it appears old and irrelevant. In a recent study, there was a suggestion that microwaving food is less likely to damage nutrients compared to other cooking methods.

The longer the food cooks, the more nutrient breakdown occurs.

We all know that microwaves take less time to heat food than other cooking methods like roasting and boiling.

Are There Downsides of Microwaving Dog Food?

Although it may be necessary to microwave dog/pet food, there are quite a handful of drawbacks in microwaving dog/pet food. 

  1. Can Cause Burns

The most obvious drawback is that mocaving can cause burns and hot spots. Microwaving can heat the food unevenly, rendering some of the food to be cold, some warm, and some burning hot.

The unfortunate thing about this is that your dog doesn’t know to start feeding with caution. If it starts chowing down on a part of the food that’s piping hot, it may burn its tongue and throat.

  1. Food Can Lose Nutrients

Some studies have suggested that microwaving breaks down some of its nutrients. Although microwaving dog food may not damage its mineral content, it may affect its vitamin content. 

Vitamin C and the B vitamins are the most likely to break down.

  1. May Cause Digestive Problems

Microwaving can cause foods’ fat molecules to change. Changing of the fats can ultimately make them less digestible.

When your dog’s digestive system can’t digest the fats, it’ll suffer an adverse effect.

What is the Ideal Temperature For Serving Your Pet Food?

Room temperature is the most ideal for serving your dog/pet food. But you can also serve it at temperatures slightly close to room temperature.

You should never serve pet food while it’s too cold because it might discourage your pet from eating. Microwaving will only take a few seconds for food to reach up to room temperature.

The issue about the correct temperature raises a bunch of questions to many veterinarians. But it shouldn’t worry you in case of dry foods.

Most domestic dogs and cats live off these raw-canned foods.

But you should always store wet dog/pet foods in the refrigerator.

After taking it out of the refrigerator, it’s always good to microwave it. Heating up dog food brings up the aromas and improves its taste and texture, making it more appealing to your pets appetite.

For the foods you prepare at home, please ensure it’s not too hot. Your pet may not be as patient as you when eating the food, so the hot food may irritate its delicate mouth and even cause burns.

Can Cold Food Make Dogs Sick?

The answer to this depends on how your dog/pet eats food. Is it a gulper or does it take time to chew food before swallowing.

If it’s a gulper, cold food will potentially make it sick. 

While it is entirely okay to feed your dog/pet defrosted food, first ensure it takes time to chew the food. Gulpers can swallow whole chunks without chewing.

If it doesn’t chew the frozen pieces, it might get choked and take you through much trouble.

Even worse, your dog might die from choking. But you can prevent that from happening.

The best shot is to microwave your dog food to room temperature. It’ll take 10-15 minutes, or even more if it was completely frozen.

But all the same, your food attains a room temperature, and is safe for your dog to eat. And it’ll even encourage your pet to feed because warming enhances taste and flavor.

What you need to check, though, is that your food doesn’t get hotter than room temperature.

Apart from the risk of choking while eating frozen food, your dog can suffer burns on tongue and throat from too hot food.

Bottom Line

You can microwave dog/pet food, but you need to be careful not to burn your dog.

All you need to do is use a microwave-safe dish to microwave your dog/pet up to room temperature.

Apart from dipping your finger to confirm the temperature, you can get a thermometer to take the accurate temperature to be more certain.

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