Water for ME dogs who can’t drink it in its true liquid form:
Getting enough water for megaesophagus dogs can be a real problem and many have more trouble keeping water down than food. Of course, you can get a lot of water into your pet with the dog food you use. Canned dog food already contains a good bit of water, and you can always mix it with more water. Dry dog food doesn’t contain much water, but you can use plain water to moisten and soften the food.

Even when you add water to dog foods, your dog might not begetting its hydration requirements.  This problem might be solved by making what some megaesophagus dog owners refer to as Knox blocks or Knox Blox. Essentially, Knox blocks are water Jell-O and there are many recipes out there you can try making and using for your dog. By trying to keep the sodium amount as low as possible, your dog shouldn’t be as thirsty as opposed to using high sodium content products or real meat sources which do have higher sodium. Those make your dog want even more water, so find low or no sodium content products.

IMPORTANT: Even though this is not “water” in its true form, Knox Blox must be given while your dog is upright. Works well to use during eating time but pending weather in your location, you may need to do additional short times giving these during the day as well.

Summer Hydration with Knox Blox:
Ryan’s blog about his ME dog Sidney using Knox Blox to stay hydrated.

Knox Blox Recipes (from ME owners who use these:
Knox Blox are a wonderful way to provide your ME dog with hydration if water is on the NO-NO list. They also make a nice treat on hot days!

Recipe 1:
1 cup cold low sodium chicken or beef broth (to make it tasty for your pup!)
4 packages of Knox unflavored gelatin
3 cups of boiling liquid (You can use more broth here, combined with water, or just more water)

Pour a cup of cold broth into a 9 x 11 or 9 x 13 baking pan
Sprinkle 4 packages of gelatin into cold broth and stir
Add 3 cups of boiling liquid and stir until the gelatin is dissolved
Refrigerate until solid – approximately 3 hours
Slice the firm gelatin into pieces (squares of a swallowable size per your pup)
Refrigerate extra until use

Recipe 2:
1 C cold low-sodium chicken broth
Stir 4 packages of Knox gelatin into broth
Add 3 C of boiling water and stir until dissolved

Pour liquid into a 9 × 15 casserole dish and refrigerate until solid, approximately 2-3 hours
Cut the mixture into dice-size cubes


6 C boiling water
8 packets of Knox gelatin
2 C chicken broth

Recipe 3:
Add Knox packets to chicken broth
Add gelatin and chicken broth to boiling water. Stir to melt gelatin. Put in pan and refrigerate. This recipe makes 64 oz. of chicken-flavored gelatin.
Take one box of Knox unflavored gelatin power….there are four envelopes inside. Dissolve those four envelopes in 1 C of room temp water and one cup of low-sodium chicken broth.
As an alternative, you can use an envelope of no sodium chicken bouillon or beef bouillon…then use 2 cups of room temp water and dissolve the gelatin powder and the powdered bouillon at the same time. Then add two cups of boiling water to completely dissolve, pour into a pan and chill until set.
You can experiment with less water to make them more solid or more water to make them more slippery if needed. Also experiment with the size of cubes that go down best….some dogs like big cubes they can chew…others like them the size of dice….still others do best with strips that just slide down.

Recipe 4:
Four cups of water and four envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin.
Sprinkle the gelatin over a cup of room-temperature water and let it dissolve.
Stir in three cups of boiling water.
Can also add about ¼ cup of sugar just to make the blocks more palatable and to add some calories.
Pour the liquid into a 13 x 9 dish and refrigerated it overnight.
Next morning, cut it into blocks and place the blocks into a large Ziploc food bag.