Dogs can have Gatorade because it does not contain anything toxic to them. Though, everything should be given in moderation, especially when it comes to human indulgences that were not specifically formulated for dogs.
We drink sports drinks like Gatorade because of the additional sugars and resources that we can glean from them. It is suggested to drink such drinks right after sweating and expending substantial amounts of energy. They contain electrolytes to replenish those that your body lost by sweating. This is why many athletes are seen drinking Gatorade.
However, just because something is safe for us to consume and perhaps even healthy, it does not mean that it is suitable for dogs. Gatorade will not harm your dog unless they have allergies or consume it in large quantities.
That being said, plain water is all your pup needs to stay healthy, happy, and hydrated. Introducing Gatorade could be considered superfluous. If you really need a substance that replenishes their systems, it is better to talk to your vet and buy a formula designed for dogs.
Is Gatorade Healthy for Dogs?
Gatorade can reestablish hydration in dogs that have been very active or have experienced recent issues with vomiting or diarrhea. However, there are healthier and safer replacements for these situations.
If your pup is having these problems, consider taking them to the vet instead of giving them Gatorade.
Gatorade has high levels of both sodium and sugar. Dogs do not need much of either in their diet. Too much Gatorade can end up having an opposite effect in the fight to rehydrate your pet.
How and When to Give Your Dog Gatorade
If you want to try giving your dog Gatorade to help assuage a hydration issue, there are methods to keep it safer.
Introduce it slowly and carefully
Dogs that have struggled with issues that dehydrate them could benefit from Gatorade. However, it must be done slowly, and you should oversee your dog carefully to make sure they do not have an adverse reaction to the fluid.
Give your pup a few sips at a time. The best way to introduce Gatorade is to dilute it with water. Put both substances in their bowl in a 50/50 mixture or an even more diluted ratio. Do not fill their bowl up even if they need more fluids. Drinking too quickly can cause an upset stomach to feel even worse.
If you want to regulate the amount of fluid that they take in but you are not around to do so, try to freeze the mixture of Gatorade and water. Put it in their bowl afterward, and then they can drink it as it thaws.
Do Not Make It Daily
Even if Gatorade can help a sick dog get fluids back into their system, that doesn’t mean a large amount of it helps more.
Moderate the amount that they get and get approval from your vet before making it a regular part of their diet. They should not receive Gatorade or related sports drinks every day. It is only beneficial if they have recently experienced a sickness regarding their digestive system.
Get Your Vet’s Opinion
The best way to ensure that a substance is safe and/or beneficial for your dog is to get your vet’s approval. Contact them before taking the chance and giving your dog a previously unknown substance.
Alternatives to Gatorade
Gatorade has plenty of alternatives that can be healthier choices for a dehydrated dog.
Quite a few veterinarians recommend giving a dog who suffers from diarrhea or vomiting rice water. If your dog is only exhibiting mild diarrhea, then make rice water with white rice. This substance naturally includes probiotic cultures and can help balance out an unhappy GI tract.
To make rice water, boil a cup of white rice with 4 cups of water. Let it simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, and watch for the water to turn a creamy white color. Decant the fluid and then let it cool down.
For a dog that needs help rehydrating, the best thing you can do is give them plenty of water. This applies in any case that doesn’t require the attention of your vet. If it does, then the vet might prescribe a fluid or supplement that will help them.
Yes, dogs can drink Gatorade, although they should not have large amounts. The fluid contains too much sugar and sodium to be particularly healthy for a dog. It should be diluted down so the sugars are not as excessive.
If your dog has been experiencing health issues that cause dehydration, you may consider giving them a 50/50 mix of water and Gatorade. If the symptoms are severe or prolonged, take them to the vet instead of giving them Gatorade. In the end, water is the only that a dog needs to drink.
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Featured Image Credit: Colin, Wikimedia Commons