Can Dogs Drink Gatorade? Can It Help Them?
Drinking electrolytes is essential for humans. We can lose essential minerals through sweating, and drinks like Gatorade can help us replenish those nutrients. Dogs sweat differently from us, primarily through their paws. They pant to regulate their body temperature, and many dog owners want to know the answer to the question, “Can dogs drink Gatorade?” It can seem like a good idea, but here’s what you should keep an eye on.
The first question all responsible dog owners should ask themselves is, “Is Gatorade safe for my dog?” In fact, they should ask themselves the same question no matter what food or drink they’re giving to their dogs. Theoretically, Gatorade is safe for dogs. That means that if your dog drinks Gatorade, it won’t get poisoned. However, dog owners should know when and how to safely give their dogs this sports drink.
Let’s start with the WHEN part of the question. The only situation that might require you to give Gatorade to your dog is if your dog is severely dehydrated because of diarrhea and vomiting. Even then, if your vet is near, an IV would be a lot better for your dog. However, in those cases where you can’t reach your vet quickly, and your dog lost a lot of essential nutrients, Gatorade can be a solution. The main reason Gatorade can be considered is that dehydration is extremely dangerous in dogs. You can read more about it here - Dehydration in dogs.
The second part of that question is how to safely give Gatorade to dogs. You can’t just fill up your dog’s bowl and let them have as much as they want. There are three things you should remember to do when giving your dog Gatorade;
The first thing all dog owners should do is call their vets. Explain the situation and tell them why you’re considering giving Gatorade to your dog. This is a very unusual situation, and not many vets will have experience in giving dogs Gatorade. As you can imagine, this is not something they’ll learn in vet school. Your vet can tell you why that is a good idea or why you shouldn’t do it. Plus, your vet can give you instructions on how to safely help your dog with Gatorade.
Pure Gatorade is too sweet for dogs. You shouldn’t give your dog pure Gatorade to drink. Instead, prepare a mixture of 50% water and 50% Gatorade. This will help dilute the sweetness and won’t upset your dog’s stomach.
Another thing to remember is that Gatorade should not be something you give your dog constantly. It is not healthy for dogs in the long term, and it should only be given to dogs in extreme situations.
There is another human dehydration solution owners might consider giving their dogs. Here’s what you should know about Pedialyte for dogs.
The main issue with Gatorade is that it is not a product specially developed for dogs. Whenever owners want to introduce human foods into their dog’s diet, they need to be very careful. It’s the same case with Gatorade. The amount of sugar and sodium in it is not safe for dogs. If the dog ingests too much, it can lead to health complications.
Despite our best efforts, dogs can get ahold of things they’re not supposed to. If that happens, the first thing you should do is call your vet. Tell them what happened and listen to their instructions. It is entirely possible that nothing bad happens, but your vet will most likely want to observe your dog. So many ingredients can put a lot of stress on the dog’s kidneys, leading to further complications.
The most likely scenario is that your dog will experience digestive issues. They will probably vomit and get diarrhea, which is not something you’d want to see if the dog is already dehydrated. If that happens, you should take your dog to the pet ER.
Gatorade is an excellent product for humans. However, human and canine digestive systems and needs are entirely different. That means your dog evolved to function on existing foods and liquids, and Gatorade is not something they need in their diet. It should only be given to dogs in extreme situations, like dehydration. Even then, it should be given in small amounts and diluted. Make sure you give your dog only things they will benefit from and are safe for them to ingest.
World Dog Finder team