Many people take Gatorade when they’re playing sports as a way to re-hydrate and to replace lost electrolytes, but is this something that is suitable to give your dog, or should you just stick to plain old water?
Maybe your dog has been really active today, and you think they need some extra help recovering. Or maybe you yourself are having some Gatorade and you’re considering sharing with them. Either way, it’s not necessary in the slightest to give your dog anything but water, and therefore you shouldn’t do it.
There are basically three categories when it comes to what you should and shouldn’t give your dog. On one side is things you definitely shouldn’t, things you definitely should, and a gray area where it’s up to you whether or not you want to give it to your dog. Gatorade falls under this third category, but it’s our recommendation not to give it to them.
Can I Give My Dog Gatorade? Answer: Not Recommended
Your dog is pretty simple when it comes to liquids. They only need water, much like humans. The only difference is we have so many beverage options it makes your head spin. The only thing you can drink that doesn’t dehydrate you is water. Drinks with sugar, salt, caffeine, and other additives only serve to make you more dehydrated in the long run, and that includes Gatorade.
When dealing with a dog’s metabolism and how they process different foods and drinks, it’s easy to see that they’re on a smaller scale than we are, unless you have a Great Dane or other large breed. This means they have smaller sized organs, including the liver and kidneys. They can’t process the amounts of refined sugars, preservatives, chemicals, and additives that are put into beverages like Gatorade.
Gatorade for Dehydration
Gatorade made its claim to fame by saying that it helped prevent and recover from dehydration and was originally developed to help the Florida Gators football team. The theory is that this is what helped them win the national championship the year it was introduced. But however it came about, the fact of the matter is that the product being sold today is not the same one that was invented way back then. Now it’s just a money-making machine owned by the PepsiCo corporation, and they’re only interested in the bottom line, not what goes into the drink. How can they make it cheaper, but still have it taste the same, this is their thought process.
Your dog should not be given Gatorade mostly due to the sugar content. Dogs don’t need sweet things, and the sugar content of Gatorade doesn’t quite rival that of colas and other soft drinks, but it contains several grams per serving, and it fluctuates between the different types. It’s also that industrial grade sugar, so it’s not even real, just created in a laboratory to taste good.
Gatorade also has a good amount of sodium in it, which is supposed to contain the electrolytes. Whether it does or doesn’t contain electrolytes is a debate for another day, suffice it to say that your dog doesn’t need to worry about replacing them because they’re not a professional athlete. Even if they were, you wouldn’t have to worry about it because they get all of what they need from good old fashioned water, straight from the tap and into their water dish.
But My Dog Seems To Like It!
Watching your dog slurp up Gatorade with enthusiasm might make you think that they really like the taste and that it’s benefiting them in some way. But to be clear, they are not benefiting from drinking Gatorade, and therefore should not be given it. It’s not working to re-hydrate them, and there are so many extra ingredients in it that your dog doesn’t need. Really you shouldn’t be drinking it either, but that’s besides the point. Give your dog a steady supply of fresh, cool water and they’ll be the happiest pet on the planet.
No need to over-complicate things, just keep it simple. Quality dog food and clean water is all they need to have a full and active life experience.