The scorching heat on a hot summer’s day is tough to beat, especially for active folks like athletes. This is why many people turn to electrolyte replacing drinks like Gatorade to replenish lost fluids and stay hydrated after a long day of working out or exercising.
Dehydration is just as common in dogs as it is in people. Gatorade is not just an athlete’s or human’s favorite sports drink. Many dog owners have also contemplated letting their dogs drink Gatorade to help replace the essential minerals and electrolytes they lost after sweating and avoid canine dehydration and heat stroke. Moreover, it’s also used to treat a sick dog with an upset stomach or suffering from vomiting and diarrhea.
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But, the question remains. Can dogs drink Gatorade? Let’s find out together!
Gatorade for Dogs: Yay or Nay?
Giving your dehydrated dog a few sips of Gatorade wouldn’t probably harm their health. However, most vets would recommend using plain water instead to get your dog hydrated as many sports drinks contain added sugar and sodium, and as everyone knows, too much sugar or salt is not good for anyone. Sports drinks should be consumed moderately and with supervision like any human food or drink.
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Can Dogs Drink Zero Sugar Gatorade?
Zero sugar Gatorade still contains sodium and a sweetener called Sucralose. Generally, it’s safe for pet consumption as long as given in small doses, just like a regular Gatorade. It also has fewer calories, but we wouldn’t recommend including it as a main course in your dog’s diet.
Can Dogs Drink Powdered Gatorade?
The complete ingredients of powdered Gatorade are Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium Phosphate, Calcium Silicate, Modified Food Starch, and Natural And Artificial Flavor. Although none of these are essentially toxic for dogs, we would recommend staying away from powdered Gatorade mainly because of the food starch, sugar, salt, and artificial flavors.
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Can Dogs Drink Pedialyte?
Like Gatorade, you can give your dog small amounts of Pedialyte to help them with hydration. Word of caution, although Pedialyte has fewer sugar levels, it still contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium that can cause kidney damage when consumed in high amounts.
When Can Dogs Drink Gatorade?
Dogs drinking Gatorade should only happen occasionally. The only occasion to give your dog Gatorade is when they are:
- Dehydrated or;
- Suffering from diarrhea
Gatorade can be a good replacement for dog food if your pupper refuses to eat solid food due to sickness. This also applies to instances where they are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting. Gatorade and other sports drinks help ease or calm the digestive system plus help your dog replenish lost electrolytes and rehydrate them.
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What’s the Right Way to Give Your Dog Gatorade
The best way to administer Gatorade to your dog is by mixing 50% plain water and 50% Gatorade. This way your pooch won’t be consuming too much sugar and sodium but still retains the essential nutrients from the drink. Another way you can give Gatorade as a treat is by freezing the diluted mix of water and Gatorade into ice cubes and letting your dog work around them.
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Sports drinks are specifically designed for humans and their hydration needs. With that in mind, giving your dog Gatorade wouldn’t be the same as when you drink Gatorade. That’s why it’s only recommended to give it to them in small doses, as they can’t handle as much sugar and sodium as humans can.
Also, remember that dogs don’t lose electrolytes the same way humans do. Dogs cool themselves by panting and letting the heat pass through their paw pads and noses, so drinking high amounts of Gatorade to rehydrate them is unnecessary. If you’re still in doubt, consult your vet first to ensure it’s safe to include in your pet’s diet. Overall, we still recommend giving plenty of water to your dog as this is the safest and healthiest option to rehydrate thirsty dogs.