An interesting thread Coaster. Until a year or two ago I had never considered soaking kibble, except for weaning puppies of course. I started soaking cold pressed food to put inside a Kong but I don't allow my dogs to have that toy nowadays. One of my dogs had digestive problems and that is why I began to soak kibble. She is now OK but all of them get their dry food soaked. The dog that had digestive issues is currently on a fish based kibble and each evening I pour boiled cooled water on it so that it is softened for breakfast. This particular dry food crumbles quite nicely but I understand that some types don't soak too well in terms of appearance and texture.
I prefer moistening kibble for the following reasons:
* Ease of digestion.
* The dogs are not at the water bowl as much.
* It bulks the food up and takes them longer to eat it.
* Can improve taste, palatability and aroma.
* It's rather akin to us dunking a biscuit in our tea (not sure if that's a good reason though! LOL)
Some people think that dogs need to bite on kibble to help clean their teeth but I don't really believe this. There are dogs that chew their dry food properly but two of my three don't bother much, no matter what the kibble size. They just scoff it! The youngest chews the pieces though. All of them get their teeth brushed and find that this keeps them in good condition.
Two photographs of a cold pressed food here, the first one is 38g, dry and the second one is 40g, soaked and crumbly. It clearly demonstrates how the product swells up in the stomach. Kibble swells up even more than cold pressed food.