Dehydration generally occurs when your dog becomes deficient in fluids when its body loses more fluid than it consumes. Your dogs can become dehydrated at times, but it is much more common in hot weather because dogs pant too hard to cool down.
While Gatorade and Electrolytes is a famous sports drink prepared to rehydrate humans, the question is “Can dogs drink Gatorade?” Well, it isn’t recommended for your dogs.
When dehydration reaches unsafe levels, your dog can develop an electrolyte imbalance that prevents his muscles as well as internal organs from working properly. In such a situation, you may consider offering Gatorade to your dog but is it safe? Can dogs drink Gatorade safely? Let’s know it all here…
- 1 What Is Gatorade?
- 2 Why Would Anyone Offer Gatorade To A Dog?
- 3 Dehydration In Dogs:
- 4 Causes of Dehydration In Gogs
- 5 Symptoms Of Dehydration In Dogs?
- 6 How to Avoid Dehydration In Dogs
- 7 Treatment of dehydration in dogs
- 8 How to Prevent Dehydration in Dogs
- 9 Can Dogs Drink Gatorade Safely?
- 10 Why Giving Gatorade To Your Dog Is A Bad Idea?
What Is Gatorade?
Gatorade is a drink for exercise-enhancement. It has rehydrating electrolytes and also contains a high amount of added sugar. This drink is categorized as a “sports drink.” Experts at the University of Florida formed the drink with the dream of increasing the football team’s performance in 1965 and named it Gators.
So, Gatorade is a sports drink that has electrolytes to rehydrate humans and supply energy. Nevertheless, it also has high levels of added sugar, which can raise your health risks.
Why Would Anyone Offer Gatorade To A Dog?
As you can see Gatorade is a human drink for energy boosting and fighting against dehydration, often dog owners wonder if it is safe to offer Gatorade to their dogs or not. Well, if you notice any sign of dehydration in your dog, then you may think of offering Gatorade to your dog. But let me tell you, it is not safe for your dog.
Let’s find out what is dehydration in dogs, and what are the symptoms, causes, and treatments for dehydration in dogs.
Dehydration In Dogs:
Dehydration occurs when the fluid content in the body drops below normal. This usually includes the loss of both water and electrolytes: sodium, chlorine, and potassium. Dehydration can be caused by a lack of food or water, or increased water loss due to illness or injury. Fever increases further fluid loss.
When there is a lack of water in the body, fluid is redistributed from the cells, leaving the cells without sufficient fluid. This leads to dehydration. The degree of dehydration is based on the magnitude of this redistribution of water in the body.
Dogs lose fluid through breathing, stool, urine, and sweating (with shortness of breath, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, water loss increases). Dogs replenish fluids by drinking water or other liquids and by eating raw foods.
Causes of Dehydration In Gogs
The dog’s body is designed in such a way that it will never drink more than necessary. On the contrary, your dog’s body always experiences a slight lack of fluid, which does not affect metabolic processes in any way.
Dehydration in a dog occurs when fluid intake decreases. This condition is caused by many reasons:
- renal failure
- lack of unlimited access to water with a diet consisting only of dry food
- lack of access to food and drink for more than 24 hours
Symptoms Of Dehydration In Dogs?
If your dog is showing any of these signs, it may be something to think about:
- Seems disoriented or woozy
- Unsteady when walking
- His heart appears to be dashing (the normal heart rate for your dog is between 60 to 140 beats/minute, and the bigger your dog, the slower your dog’s heart rate).
In case you notice any of the above signs, follow these steps to diagnose the issue further:
- Lift your dog’s lips to see your dog’s gums. In case the gums of your dog are dry and sticky rather than pink and moist, it’s a sign that the dog requires your attention.
- Examine your dog’s skin properly. Loss of elasticity in the skin around your dog’s neck indicates trouble if you pull on it and it doesn’t recover.
Usually, all it takes to get your dog feeling better is a good, lengthy break from exercising and a tiny amount of water at a time. Electrolytes in Pedialyte, which is often found in baby powder and diapers at the shop, will hasten your dog’s recuperation. Pedialyte is appropriate for canines.
Sports drinks and Gatorade are not good for your dog. Ice cubes are another option for feeding your dehydrated dog. You must consult a veterinarian right away if your dog’s dehydration has become so severe that it is preventing them from holding down water. The dog may need intravenous hydration from an expert.
How to Avoid Dehydration In Dogs
Maintaining fluid levels is just as important in dogs as it is in people.
- Dogs lose a lot of water when they pant. Leave two or three water bowls in different places so that your pet gets enough water.
- If your dog has not been able to drink fully for a long time, begin rehydration gradually, allowing the dog a few sips every few minutes. Drinking large amounts of fluid suddenly after a period without water can lead to vomiting and the dog will lose even more fluid.
- Don’t let your dog drink a lot of water after a strenuous workout.
- Wait a few minutes after your dog’s workout and then allow drinking, often but little by little, every few minutes.
- If your dog shows some signs of dehydration, give him an electrolyte solution.
- Dogs that have gone a long time without water may have trouble keeping it down. Let them lick the ice so they get the liquid they need.
- If your dog refuses to drink for any extended period, consult your veterinarian!
Treatment of dehydration in dogs
Because dehydration is a life-threatening condition, if you suspect it, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Your veterinarian will examine your dog and take the necessary tests to make a diagnosis and identify the cause of the condition. General and biochemical blood tests will help determine the root cause of dehydration.
The hematocrit and total blood protein levels will indicate whether dehydration is present: if they are elevated, dehydration is present. A urinalysis will also help determine if the animal is dehydrated and if there is kidney damage.
After confirming dehydration, its severity, and its cause, your veterinarian will prescribe appropriate treatment. Dogs with mild dehydration can be treated at home with hydration supervision. Moderate and severe degrees require intravenous administration of drugs to replenish water balance and restore organ function.
How to Prevent Dehydration in Dogs
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to dehydration. Water should always be brought into the field. I always carry at least one bottle of water for the dog and myself in my luggage. It could be necessary to train your dog to sip from a bottle.
When hunting close to a stream or pond, stop sometimes so your dog can cool off and get a drink. After the hunt, bring a dish of water to the truck so your dog has something to drink.
Give Your Dog Access To Fresh Water
You must ensure that your dog has easy access to fresh, clean water. Also, try to refill your dog’s water bowl regularly as well as clean the water bowl daily to avoid algae and bacteria growth.
Check Your Dog’s Water Intake
You always have to monitor your dog’s water intake to understand the possible underlying health issues of your dog. If you notice increased or decreased water consumption of your dog, it might suggest that your dog is having any health issues. So, you must immediately consult with your vet.
Offer Ice Cubes
If you notice that your dog is not comfortable drinking water from a water bowl, you can offer ice cubes to your dog as a treat. This way, you can treat your dog as well as take care of your dog’s dehydration.
Include Water-Rich Foods In Your Dog’s Diet
If you notice that your dog is constantly refusing water intake and suffering from dehydration, you can include water-rich foods in your dog’s diet.
Be Aware Of Dehydration Symptoms
To prevent dehydration in your dog, you need to understand whether your dog is truly dehydrated or not. So, look for the dehydration symptoms in your dog and if you notice any, try any of the above-mentioned methods or a few methods to prevent dehydration issues.
Can Dogs Drink Gatorade Safely?
Maybe you can offer Gatorade to your dog. However, I do not recommend offering Gatorage to my dog. A few gulps of Gatorade are quite safe for dogs, but water is the best fluid your canine needs to remain hydrated.
Gatorade may help the dog moderately after diarrhea, however, Pedialyte is perhaps a better option for your dog in general. Gatorade even has added sodium and sugar, which sabotage any usefulness Gatorade may provide to your dog.
Why Giving Gatorade To Your Dog Is A Bad Idea?
Gatorade has a notable amount of added sugar, in it. Added sugar can be toxic to dogs when they consume it in large quantities. Added sugar can irritate your dog’s stomach and regular, extreme sugar consumption can cause weight gain problems and even obesity.
An obese dog is at high risk of several health issues such as joint & heart disease and diabetes. Gatorade even has artificial flavors and colors, which can lead to digestive upset issues or allergic reactions in some canines.
A few sugar-free electrolyte sports drinks have an artificial sweetener named “xylitol”. It is highly poisonous to dogs and small amounts can lead to liver failure, seizures, low blood sugar, and even death.
Moreover, the electrolyte proportions in Gatorade are prepared for human requirements and might not be suitable for dogs, possibly causing an imbalance in your dog’s system.
In the most severe cases, dehydration leads to death. Always remember that nothing is as important as your dog’s well-being. Treatment for dehydration in your dog is to provide necessary fluids.
Often, a sick animal is not able to absorb a sufficient amount of water on its own, so fluids are administered parenterally (through injections) – intravenously or subcutaneously. Intravenous fluid administration requires a catheter and often hospitalization. Therapy must be carried out slowly to allow the body to recover.