Gatorade For Dogs? Should I Give Electrolyte Drinks To My Pet?
(Last Updated On: August 16, 2018)
Gatorade is known as a popular drink which can help athletes re-hydrate and replenish their energy. If you’ve ever drunk Gatorade, you may be scratching your head and wondering about Gatorade For Dogs.
In this article I’ll outline more information about the drink, its potential advantages and disadvantages. Most importantly, I’ll answer the question is it safe for your pet?
What is Gatorade For Dogs?
By taking a close look at its website, you can clearly see that the company itself suggests that the drink was “born in the lab”. Depending on what you make of this statement, you can either believe that extensive research was done in order to make this product eliminate a potential problem – athletes being ill after exercising in extreme heat- or that the product is completely artificially created.
Nevertheless, the goal was noble, create a drink which would replace crucial electrolytes and carbohydrates that athletes tend to lose during exercise, while also being a great way of keeping yourself hydrated.
Why Are Owners Feeding It To Their Dogs?
Since the product is safe for human consumption, it should come as little surprise that many owners want to give this to their dog.
Following the logic that Gatorade is a good option in terms of hydration, you may think that this drink will do its magic and keep your dog healthy.
But there are many things to consider when giving your dog a new food or drink. For example, dogs are not able to eat chocolate, onions, and other such things we humans consume.
Thus, it’s always best to take precautions and know exactly what it is and what it can or can’t do for your dog.
The primary reason why owners give it their canines is diarrhea. Your dog may be losing copious amounts of fluids while defecating and there is a serious risk that it can become dehydrated.
The second most important reason is closely related to the amount of physical activity a dog is being exposed to. Since professional athletes are prone to recovering by drinking Gatorade, owners may be thinking that the drink will also help dogs who are predominantly active.
Is it Safe?
I know many of you were waiting for this moment, and the answer is YES. Gatorade is safe for your pet. But the question is, how healthy is this drink?
As a rule of thumb, I wouldn’t give my kids or my pup anything that I wouldn’t drink myself. This is by no means an exception.
The reality is that giving your pet a little bit now and again is not a big deal. It’s not something which will affect them in the long run. Problems occur when you abuse the drink, making it a daily treat or replacement to water.
Potential Side Effects
Needless to say that your pet’s body is smaller in size compared to you. This means that any ingredients should relate to a canine’s body instead of that of an adult human.
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients listed in the drink, you may be a bit overwhelmed. Even if you’re not familiar with dextrose, sucrose, mono-potassium phosphate, you know that these are chemicals.
Gatorade has quite a significant amount of sugar and sodium. Since our pets are unable to process chemicals and additives like we can, they should only be provided on rare occasions.
Most parents are the same with their children, making sure that excessive amounts of sugar are not ingested by their children. So apply the same rules for your dog.
What Should I Give My Dog Instead Of Gatorade?
As a general rule, if your pet is dehydrated, you should always get them fresh clean water. This is the best and most natural drink that your dog should get used to drinking.
If you’re looking for new and creative ways of making your pup drink water, try a water fountain, or a cooling bowl.
If your dog is prone to throwing up or having extreme diarrhea, then you may consider Pedialyte. Also for eliminating dehydration, this drink is a combination of carbohydrate and electrolytes.
This means that the drink will replenish the two components in your body, thus hydrating it. What could separate this drink from Gatorade is the fact that Pedialyte was designed for children’s bodies, making the ingredients a lot easier to handle for dogs.
If you’re set on the idea of your dog drinking Gatorade, the most responsible thing you can do as an owner is to dilute the drink with water.
In an ideal world, you will mix 50% water with 50% Gatorade, or otherwise a 60 % – 40% mix. If you still feel that the drink would be too strong for your pup, try freezing the mix into ice cubes, then putting one ice cube per bowl of water.
To sum up, Gatorade For Dogs is safe. But moderation is key. This means that no harm will come to your dog as long as you are responsibly giving the drink to your pooch, once in awhile.
When it comes to dehydration, there is nothing that can compare to our all-time favorite hydrating and natural water. In case there are some illnesses (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea), always consult your veterinarian and discuss other options.